The runway is perhaps the least glamorous yet most important element of an airport. So keeping it and the other operational areas of an airfield running smoothly and in prime condition is vital to air safety. Tony Mallett spent a day out on the airfield with two team members from the Airside Operations Unit at Leeds Bradford Airport to see how it’s done.
07:00 Airside Operations Supervisor George Graham is already two hours into his shift. George is in charge of the airside team, accentuated by him being the only staff member wearing an orange high-visibility jacket as opposed to the yellow worn by other personnel. At 0720hrs he leaves the office on the westerly side of the apron and climbs into a Ford Ranger 4x4, which is allocated the callsign Checker to be in radio communications with Air Traffic Control (ATC). A thin blanket of mist is hanging over a row of aircraft parked in front of the terminal, waiting for push back during the morning rush hour.