Airport security officers (external)
Meet Toni, airport security officer
What did you do before joining Gatwick? Before coming to work at Gatwick I was a police community support officer in Brighton which I did for about four and half years. I then started looking for something that would give me more job security, more variety and also career development opportunities, so I applied and got the role of airport security officer and I’ve been working here about three and half years now.
What do you like most about your job? I really enjoy working with my crew – that’s what we call our immediate team - we all get on and work together really well. This makes dealing with some of our more challenging situations a lot easier as I know I have the support and the backup of my colleagues if needed. I love the variety my job gives me as I get to meet so many different people that work on the airport from catering and cleaning companies, control authorities such as the Police, Customs and Immigration, then there are the fire officers, the handling agents, baggage handlers, airline cabin crews and a huge variety of contractors that work on various building projects around the airport and that’s just to name a few! A really great benefit to doing my job is the shift pattern I’m on - I work day or night shifts which can give me quite a few days off in a row every few weeks. We also get free uniform, car parking, discounted shopping and canteen facilities.
Do you get much training? When I started, we had a total of three weeks induction training which was quite intense but necessary to learn everything about the role. We get yearly refresher training for two days where we are assessed on our knowledge and skills. We also have computer based training and testing sessions three times a year for x-ray screening.
What’s a typical day like? A typical day working in external operations would include working on any number of our access posts around the airfield where we carry out physical searches on the airport staff and their personal belongings. We are responsible for maintaining security for all vehicles entering the airfield and we also check the right documentation is in order for all delivery vehicles. Because I’m working outside, the biggest day to day challenge has got to be the weather, you have to be prepared for every eventuality be it rain, shine, cold or snow! Other challenges can be when we’re re-enforcing the strict guidelines and rules that apply to staff (which is the same for passengers) about the amount of liquids and other prohibited items allowed through security.
What would you say to someone thinking about joining Gatwick? Gatwick is a good place to work and there are plenty of opportunities for career progression or job variety.
"Being flexible, adaptable and being able to think on your feet do put you in good stead for any role within the airport fire service..."