Ground ops keeps Aberdeen going says Tim Leitch

Bristow’s Ground Operations Officer Tim Leitch loves the role he gets to play at Aberdeen in coming in before sunrise every day and making sure all the equipment is ready before a busy day of loading and unloading aircraft.

Ground ops make sure the aircraft are fueled, passengers and their baggage get to where they are going and that the entire process is seamless. They repeat the process when the helicopters return with people coming off their shift. It is a key customer facing service and one that the ground ops team takes seriously. Tim has been at it for the last seven years since he joined the company in 2015 and he loves working outdoors where all the action is.

What are some of the jobs you’ve done at Bristow?

I've been a green keeper and worked in offices, but I think my vocation is to be outside.

What does a normal day look like for you?

A normal day, depending on where we are on the roster, there are certain jobs we must do first thing in the morning. There's usually three of us that come in early to do these checks. You could be on the bowser, and this means, doing all the checks, and making sure there's no water or other contaminants in the fuel or you could be doing the vehicle checks, which means checking the tractors, these are used to move the baggage trollies or helicopters and making sure that all the tires are right, and the lights and horn are working and that they're totally functional. Otherwise, we just have to take them offline. If you're doing the bags, in the morning, then you'll check all the barrows (that hold the luggage) to make sure all the door pins are there and making sure that they're usable, otherwise they need to be taken offline until they're fixed.

What are some of the challenges that you have in your job?

A lot of challenges that we have are that some of the freight that is delivered is quite bulky and with the bags can be quite a challenge. The shelves, in the back (of the aircraft), will only take certain weights and we have to work out what can go on the top and bottom, making sure we can, obviously, get all the bags and the freight in.

Can you tell me about some of the people you work with on a daily basis?

All of us who work with in the freight shed and we're all under the same umbrella. So, we all know what jobs must be done. There are certain people, only several of us, that can drive the bowsers and I'm one of them. There is always two people in the bowser as a matter of safety and to carry out the fueling and the paperwork.

There's this saying that people say, the Bristow difference, is the people. Would you agree to that? What makes Bristow’s, the company that it is, is it the people?

I would say that. At the end of the day, whichever company you work for, you must earn respect. You must work for it. Be nice and helpful and then when you require help you would like to think that your colleagues will help out.

Which company value stands out to you or that you use on a daily basis?

The most important value out of everything is safety. It is a dangerous environment we work in, we need to watch out for each other.

What makes a good worker in your position?

A good worker in my position would be somebody who's thorough in their job. Making sure that all the I's are dotted, and the T's are crossed, making sure that the load corresponds with the manifest.

Do you have to do training regularly?

We get refreshers and modules. But, if we're not sure on something, we just have to ask one of our trainers who would be more than happy to help us.

What keeps you here?

Each day can be different. There are a number of different tasks that need to be done and depending which one you are assigned to, you could be doing that one and others it just depends on if help is required in other areas. At the end of the day, we are all ONE BIG TEAM.

What do you like to do when you are not working? (Favorite hobbies, etc.)

I enjoy spending time with my family and golf and fishing are my hobbies.