Auckland Airport’s Operations Centre team is keeping the airport running smoothly by bringing in staff from other departments, and by establishing three working groups separated by large, drop-down dividers.
According to general manager operations, Anna Cassels-Brown, the Operations Centre is typically staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by up to 16 people in a shift team, handling the everyday functions in both the international and domestic terminals.
“Our Operations Centre normally runs as one large, open space – banks of monitors keep staff up to date with everything going on from the traffic on the roads, to the gate areas and arrivals hall. This large, open-plan room is the nerve center of the airport,” she explained.
“During events like the COVID-19 pandemic, we have three large glass screens that divide the room. This keeps teams and people separate, reducing the risk of wider infection if one of our people is unwell.”
According to Cassels-Brown, some staff in the operations team had been removed from front-line duty because of underlying health issues that could have made them more vulnerable if they were exposed to COVID-19.
Twelve staff with previous experience working in the Operations Centre have been brought in from other departments at the airport to help keep systems running smoothly, and to support the work the Ministry of Health and government agencies are doing to protect New Zealand from the spread of COVID-19.
“One of the strengths of Auckland Airport is that we have a lot of internal transfers between departments. This means we have people with experience in many different parts of the business, and their skills from previous roles are still strong,” said Cassels-Brown. “Our people are passionate about the airport and the travelers it serves – we’re committed to getting people where they need to be, on good days and in tough times like these.
“These people know the airport inside-out, so we’ve been able to get them back up to speed on their roles in the Operations Centre very quickly.”
It is likely that some parts of both Auckland terminals will be closed in the coming weeks due to low demand. “Everything is operating at the moment, but if we’re able to close down parts of the terminals while they are not required, we’ll do so,” concluded Cassels-Brown.