Teesside International Airport | Published on: 16th February 2023
A thrill-seeker is hoping to go far at Teesside Airport while enjoying some of the most hair-raising rollercoasters in the world in his downtime.
Duty Manager Tom Berwick will be a familiar face to passengers and crew at Teesside this summer.
Between touring the world’s fastest rollercoasters, the 23-year-old helps keep operations running smoothly at Teesside Airport.
He moved up from Leeds Bradford Airport after the worst of the pandemic in 2021 and now works as part of the in-house ground handling team on Teesside.
Away from work, he has chalked up visits to no fewer than 83 rollercoasters as far afield as Canada and continental Europe.
And he shows no sign of slowing down – with a trip to the United States on the horizon.
Tom said: “My favourite ride is The Smiler at Alton Towers – when I eventually got there to ride it, it was breath-taking.
“The best park I’ve been to is in Canada just outside Toronto and they have 17 different coasters there. One was called Leviathan and was 306ft tall – that was fantastic.
“I’ve plans to go to Seaworld in San Diego – they’ve just opened a new vertical drop rollercoaster called Emperor.”
At work, Tom keeps his feet on terra firma looking after passengers and keeping busy airside with runway inspections, aircraft marshalling, and winter operations.
The Duty Manager role sees his take on more tasks than his previous job at Leeds Bradford.
Tom added: “I’ve had to learn more – and I have more airside operations responsibilities that I didn’t take on at Leeds.”
“The Terminal side and Passenger Services is something I’m more used to.
“But the core of the job is similar.”
It’s this wide variety of tasks and challenges which Tom enjoys the most.
“It sounds clichéd but I enjoy it because every day is different,” he said.
“The other day we had a baggage belt breakdown and this morning we’ve been catering for an event on site.
“Every day is different – it’s using your quick thinking, and coming up with solutions on your feet which is key.
“It keeps you engaged – and it’s a challenge. You have to think of things from a safety perspective, customer experience perspective, and a cost perspective.
“It’s that problem solving aspect I enjoy.”
Ahead of the summer season, Tom thoroughly recommended the airport as a place to work after moving up from Leeds.
“The future is really so bright here,” he added.
“There is a lot going on with the Tees Valley Combined Authority, Ben and the backing we have as a locally owned airport.
“It says a lot that we have a number of people here who worked at Leeds Bradford and people here who worked at Heathrow yet have chosen to work at Teesside. There is no denying we’re small in scale, but the potential with the estate, land, and infrastructure we have here is huge.
“It’s a really exciting and positive time.”
Tom studied Aviation Operations at Leeds City College and began his aviation career with Swissport aged 19.
Aviation was something which captured his imagination from a young age.
“When we were going on holiday as a family, I was always excited about going to the airport and travelling through and going on a plane,” he said.
“I was always fascinated that something so big can get in the air – and I still am!”
Between seeking thrills at theme parks around the globe, Tom is keen to build his career on Teesside.
He said: “The ground handling aspect of the job is one of my favourites – checking in, boarding flights, meeting all sorts of different people, and solving problems with ticketing and baggage is something I love.”
“I’m looking forward to building on the team we have, gaining more experience and creating a reputable service for airlines.”
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