With more ground time due to COVID-19 impacting flights, a handful of Hong Kong Airlines Second Officers have volunteered to take up special duties as temporary ramp coordinators during this extended lull period.
“The Company cares about us,” said Angela. “For learning purpose, we’re given an opportunity to work on the ramp, which helps us understand ground operations.”
As a ramp coordinator, Angela, Kelvin, Tobey, Alan and Michael will be tasked with supervising aircraft turnaround activities from landing to departure. They will be out on the ramp monitoring operation to ensure ground handling meets safety standards, service levels and quality control.
To become a full-fledged ramp coordinator, the group started off with two weeks of fundamental training.
“We have to study ramp safety and complete an examination before we are allowed on the ramp, said Alan. Other topics include ground operations as well as training on aircraft loading.
“After the theoretical parts are cleared, we shadow the ramp staff for practical work,” he added.
Needless to say, this ground handling experience has been an eye-opener for these Hong Kong Airlines cadet pilot graduates.
“We see and learn more at the ramp office and it’s something we won’t notice sitting behind the cockpit,” said Tobey. “Now I know the complexities at different layers and appreciate the hard work that our ramp colleagues have put in behind every flight.”
On top of their temporary roles, the Second Officers are also encouraged to continue with flying practice, with the simulators open at the HKA Training Academy for their use.
“I’m grateful that I can maximize my time for self-learning while making contributions to the Company at the same time,” said Kelvin.
In addition to these Second Officers, a few cabin crew have also been seconded to Ground Operations Department since July to support crew control duties.
“We are very pleased with this temporary arrangement,” said Richard Tan, Director of Ground Operations. “These seconded flight attendants are an asset to us and a vital link to crew. They adjust crew duties based on operational needs and have helped to improve communication flow between ground and deck.”