When Ady Dolan got the chance to visit the air traffic control tower at Newcastle Airport while doing his university holiday job he had no idea that it would change his life.
“I can remember it as if it was yesterday,” said Jarrow-born Ady. “I was working at the airport when they needed someone to take something to the control tower.
“I got up there and knocked on the door – there were two people in there, the controller and his assistant. It was dusk outside and there was this amazing view, all the lights on the airfield and the screens and systems they were using. It was fantastic.
“That’s when I decided what I wanted to do.”
Now the 34-year-old is a NATS air traffic controller at Heathrow Airport, the busiest two-runway airport in the world, and is featuring in the BBC’s Airport Live series over four nights this week.
Ady is part of a team handling nearly 1,400 flights each day departing and arriving at the UK’s hub airport.
It is a job that Ady loves – and with one of the best views out of the “office” window anywhere in the UK.
“There is a buzz and excitement about this place that I have not seen replicated at any other airport,” he said. “It is exciting and every day is different.
“Working here you have never met a team of people more highly skilled, more focussed on providing the very best service they can and more fun to be around at the same time.
“Everyone here is in the same boat and we all really enjoy what we do and that makes for a really fantastic working environment.”
If you’ve seen any of the Airport Live shows on BBC 2, there’s a chance you may have seen Ady.
We caught up with Ady last week at Heathrow and video recorded the conversation. You can watch it below:
You can also find out more about careers in NATS at http://www.nats.co.uk/careers.
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