Walk The Floor With...Matthew Brierley


Walk The Floor With...Matthew Brierley

Want to know what happens behind the scenes of your favourite airport? Matthew Brierley, Airside Operations and Safety Duty Officer, shared with us a typical day in his job and some inside stories.

What does your daily job involve?

My job is to provide an effective hour-by-hour management and control of the airside operational areas, ensuring that any service provided, related to aircraft ground handling, airside operations and airside safety, meets all statutory and mandatory practices. Whilst I’m on shift I’m accountable for all airside inspections, surface and lighting, runway friction analysis and I also lead Winter Operations for the department.

What is your favourite part of what you do?

Winter Operations is the most favourite part of my job, I currently lead the Operations Department in Winter Operations making sure all of our snow clearing kit and snow clearing teams are ready and trained for any winter event we may experience. This also gives me the opportunity to drive my beloved tractor Daisy Mae. I also enjoy leading and being a part of my team, who all do a fantastic job keeping the airfield safe.

How long have you been with Southampton Airport?

I have been working at the airport for 8 years.

What training did you have to go through before you could do this job?

Initially I had to do a three-month training to be an Airside Controller which was pretty intense with a lot to learn, but as you go through your training it all comes together like a jigsaw. When I got promoted I had to do further two months of training learning the more advanced topics of the job whilst learning how to line manage a team.

What made you decide to want to work in aviation/at the airport?

I have always been interested in the aviation world since I was a kid, I think now that I work in the aviation/airport world I will be here until I retire in 34 years time.

What do you like about working at Southampton Airport?

What makes Southampton Airport is the staff who work here, we are like one big family who have good days and bad days.

What has been the highlight of your time working here?

The highlight of my job is when we have snow here at the airport as we all come together, working long hard days and nights clearing snow and keeping the operational disruption to a minimum. I guess I should also note the day when we had the Olympic Torch arrived at Southampton Airport.

What is your favourite aircraft?

Hard question, I prefer my John Deere tractor Daisy Mae but if I had to pick one it would be the 757-200 or Piaggio P180 Avanti.

What is your favourite destination from Southampton Airport?

My favourite destination would have to be Faro in the Algarve region of Portugal, it is a relaxing place where I can enjoy some sun, sea and a bit of golf.

What is your favourite thing to do outside of work?

I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and my kids, I also like to have a game of golf and to beat my colleague Ian on Battlefield 1. I love going on a holiday, and every year I make sure I spend some time away with my work colleagues visiting historical sites and relaxing.