We recently caught up with aircraft handler, Rodney Kuimba, to discover more about his career so far, how he came to be an aircraft handler and his thoughts on the recent Covid crisis.
How long have you been doing this job? Did you always want to be an aircraft handler?
Yes, I have always wanted to do this job. I have been doing it for 7 years now.
Where did you find the information you needed to take the first steps towards this job role?
My family has worked in the aviation sector for decades so this kind of information is general knowledge in our house. Finding additional information is easy enough with the help of the Internet and the likes of YouTube.
What was the training like? / How long did it take?
The initial training was around 2 months, but in essence, you never stop learning as you come across different and new scenarios regularly in this sector.
“You never stop learning as you come across different and new scenarios regularly in this sector.”
Where did you find your current job?
The Internet, referrals and just through connections.
What’s the best part about the job?
Job satisfaction of maintaining good relationships, and safety & security standards.
What’s the hardest part about the job?
To be honest nothing really. It’s probably just making sure all of the team are where they need to be, when they need to be there, in order to achieve on time performance – and also maintain the safety and security.
What’s the most unusual thing that’s ever happened to you during work?
For me, it’s coming across some famous faces and actually spending a few minutes with them! My most memorable conversation was with former England International and Liverpool star, John Barnes.
The industry is notoriously volatile and job security isn’t always a given. Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this? What did you do?
Yes, twice now. When Thomas Cook collapsed and more recently with the global crisis that is Covid. You have to maintain some level of positivity because I felt like I had no belonging and had lost my identity. I think I speak on behalf of a lot of skilled aviation employees that have lost their jobs in the recent months and years.
“I felt like I had no belonging and had lost my identity.”
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