Passport to Success: The Hidden Skills in an Airport

Rebekah Valero-Lee Aerospace and Defence


Adrian Adair, operations director at Morson International, discusses hidden skills across an airportairport-jobs

Airports across the country are busy gearing up for the summer rush when passenger numbers spike and millions of customer’s jet off on holiday.

As the largest UK-owned airport operator, this is particularly pertinent for Manchester Airports Group (MAG). Operating four of the country’s busiest airports (Manchester, London Stanstead, Bournemouth and East Midlands) can be challenging, with thousands of skilled staff needed to avoid operational issues, keep passengers moving and arrivals/departures on schedule.

Here at Morson International, we’re a proud partner of MAG and provide its outsourced recruitment managed service for contractors on behalf of the UK operator to help source the right skills and personnel.

MAG welcomes more than 50 million flyers a year across 250+ routes and serves around 75% of the UK – a figure that is fast growing as the world becomes ever more accessible.

The sky is the limit with airport careers. In a world where technology, safety concerns and passenger demands continue to grow and evolve, we’ve analysed some of the major and more unique skills that it takes to run an airport.


Engineers are responsible for planning, designing, constructing, renovating and maintaining airport operations. This complex infrastructure is underpinned by numerous business and safety-critical systems and engineers ensure the smooth operation.

The government is pioneering a number of significant infrastructure expansions including a dramatic £1bn transformation of Manchester Airport to deliver a new super-sized terminal, faster security lanes and more routes than ever before. Once complete, the 10-year scheme will nearly double the number of airport jobs to 40,000, add 10 million more annual passengers and lay the foundations to meet future demand.

Check in

Check in and baggage handling technology has advanced considerably over recent years with the introduction of self-serve and online check in kiosks. Staff, however, are still required to manually process passengers with specific needs that the technology cannot serve. Grounds operations staff are also important to ensure passengers’ luggage and cargo is moved around safely onto every flight.

Recruitment Vetting

MAG employs thousands of staff across the UK and each need to be vetted and cleared to Civil Aviation Authority standards. These strict regulations help to meet operational demands and keep passengers safe. We’re currently recruiting for a vetting co-ordinator for MAG. For more info, click here.


IT plays a crucial role within airports and has transformed how people travel – creating seamless journeys from A to B. From powering baggage handling, security and traffic control systems, keeping everyone and everything moving 24/7 is a huge task. That’s exactly why MAG recruits large teams of skilled IT specialists, including communication engineers, programme managers, information analysts and database specialists, to ensure that its airports continue to embrace new technology and intelligent innovations that flyers now demand of their travel experience.

Change and Transformation

New technology, infrastructure developments, customer expectations and security demands has resulted in an increasing volume of transformation programmes in airports to implement significant change. Skilled leaders in change and transformation are needed to provide operational input to ensure the airport’s interests remain a priority during what are often complex multi-stakeholder projects that result in radical new ways of working. An excellent example of this is the finance director position we’re recruiting for who will be tasked with driving a cultural change and performance improvement agenda across Finance.


Travelling through the airport needs to be safe, fuss-free and fast. Security personnel play a big role in making sure the airport is a safe place to travel through and work in. Great personal skills and an eye for detail play a big part in the role.

Global Operations

Airport operators including MAG deliver services across the globe and seek skilled project staff who are fluent in other languages. One example is a project support analyst/co-ordinator role that we’re currently recruiting for, which requires the candidate to speak Japanese to help support MAG’s overseas operations and develop new relationships across East Asia.


Airports need numerous administrators to support department operations such as maintenance, engineering, sales and fuel. One unique example that we’re currently recruiting for is an administrator with responsibility for staff parking throughout the entire airport estate, which covers 12,000 employees.

Passengers can feel assured that every part of their airport experience is designed to be as enjoyable as possible, with safety and efficiency at the forefront.

To find out more about the jobs available with Morson International and MAG, visit www.morson.com/jobs.