From Stacking Shelves to Packing Planes: Young Aviator, 19, Aims to Fly High at Teesside Airport

Teesside International Airport | Published on: 9th June 2023

A young aviator with ambitions to fly high has taken up a post at Teesside Airport.

Billy Grady, originally from Burnley, got his pilot’s licence aged just 17 and is vying to make a move into commercial aviation soon.

Now the Brotton 19-year-old has taken up an MSO (Multi-Skilled Operative) role at Teesside helping passengers get around and keeping the airport ticking over.

Billy was made redundant from his job at a well-known discount retailer before taking up the job last month.

His love of aviation was sparked at a young age when his dad took him to watch aircraft in action at Manchester Airport.

He then dipped his toe into flying in a trial flight aged 14 and hasn’t looked back since.

Billy said: “My family have always been into aviation, but nobody has taken that extra step. I want to do something I love.

“I had the trial flight and loved it. At first, I was scared of flying – I was really nervous to do it but once I was in control, I loved it.

“It’s good to see the other side of it all – how things are done in day-to-day life, and why things are done for certain reasons. It’s a valuable experience.”

Billy ensures passengers with reduced mobility can get on and off aircraft smoothly, helps in the marshalling of aircraft, looks after baggage, and also oversees some airport security.

“Every day is different,” he said.

“You can have the same flight with the same destination but it’s never the same group of passengers. It’s good because my last job could be quite boring.”

When he’s off work, Billy isn’t far from the airfield for very long – feeding his passion for flying and chalking up valuable experience for himself and loved ones.

He was even spotted soaring over the Riverside Stadium on Monday night just before the Arctic Monkeys lit up the stage.

Billy added: “On my last spell off work I took my mam flying, my girlfriend flying and my nan flying.

“I’m never away from the place.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Billy is a great example of someone staying local and going far at our airport. We’re creating jobs here and now for our next generation of aviation leaders and it’s been wonderful to welcome Billy to the Teesside Airport family.

“Our summer season of flights is now in full swing so Billy will be kept busy in the months ahead. I wish him all the best in his career and I’m sure he’ll be able to build a promising future at our local airport.”

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