When your team revives your passion for winter

Aeromag’s Changemakers February 20, 2024
The Portraits of Changemakers series focuses on visionary individuals who work at Aeromag and who, every day, demonstrate a willingness to make a difference in the world. Among them is Michael Field, UK Regional Manager for our two stations.

Although a motorcycle enthusiast in the summer, Michael also loves winter… and that’s a good thing, since he has over 30 years’ experience in aircraft deicing!

Arriving at Aeromag almost four years ago, the Regional Manager proudly mentions that he has never seen a team so passionate about winter. His colleagues have awakened his love of snow and ice, much to his delight.

Teamwork at the core of operations

Beyond their boundless passion, UK station members are a close-knit group who thrive on teamwork. Being a small brigade, when something difficult happens, everyone pitches in, from the most senior manager to the newest recruit. From deicing, to receiving deliveries, to recharging time, all team members are proactive and take on their roles with enthusiasm, discipline and motivation. 

“It’s great to be part of an excellent team where professionalism and skills are of such a high level. It’s an inspiration and a great source of pride to see that every morning when I come into work, standards are always respected and valued.”

UK through the seasons 

One might think that the deicing industry is only active during winter. That’s partly true, but not entirely: the stations are in planning mode in summer. In fact, Michael and his team make sure that trucks are well prepared, that the necessary resources are in place, and that seasonal hires are made to ensure a milder winter. 

When the cold season arrives, English stations prepare for unpredictable temperatures. Michael consults a wide range of weather information sources to ensure that staffing levels are adequate and well distributed. 

“Once the deicing operations start, it’s all about health and safety, as much for our talent as for the people on board the aircraft, and the airlines that work with us”.

London Heathrow (LHR) and its special features 

The Regional Manager is well aware that staff shortages are a challenge throughout the industry. However, the situation at LHR makes things a little more complex, as it takes more than three months to obtain badges to be on the runway, and must be completed before practical training is finished. 

“Last year, I had trouble finding seasonal staff and had to deal with a staff shortage. I’m concerned about the shortage of aviation labor because it has an impact on operations, but also on talent wellbeing, as there are fewer of them, so they’re in greater demand.”  

Another particular challenge at Heathrow is its configuration. It can be tricky to get trucks to the right place at the right time as LHR is huge: it has three terminals, one of which is accessible via an active runway. 

Aeromag’s UK stations have plenty of challenges, but Michael reiterates that his excellent teams are always on hand to overcome them, and to pull out all the stops when necessary. “I know I can count on every member of the team!”