Meet Atticus Lyon: a System Operations Control Centre (SOCC) Assistant working with us here at Air Georgian. Atticus is currently enrolled in Business Administration (HBA) at the Ivey Business School, and spent his first two years of university studying Commercial Aviation Management at Western.
We recently spoke to Atticus to learn a little bit more about his experience at Air Georgian, and what motivated him to want to work with our team. This is actually Atticus’s second summer with our team, so he offers a lot of great insight and tips for future co-op students!
Ask a lot of questions, and be open to anything. Everyone is more than willing to share their knowledge with you!
Why did you apply to Air Georgian?
I’ve always had an interest in the business side of the airline industry, and Air Georgian offered an opportunity to experience the ‘big picture’ of airline operations. As a regional airline, Air Georgian appealed to me because the company must fulfill the operational demands that come with being part of a worldwide airline network, without the departmental boundaries that exist in larger airlines.
What’s a typical working day like for you?
I work on various projects that relate to all facets of the airline’s operations. My projects primarily focus on change management planning, operational performance, and fuel reporting.
No two days are the same at Air Georgian! I would find myself auditing turnarounds on the tarmac, sitting in on management meetings, or making calls for SOCC staff. The majority of my time this year has been spent in the office working on projects, and connecting with my manager, Brock Henderson (VP, System Operations Control), at various points throughout the day.
What is the most interesting thing about working at Air Georgian?
The best part about working at Air Georgian is that my work has real-world impacts on the airline, and the passengers we carry. I love working in SOCC because you get to experience the fast-paced nature of airline operations and see how all functions of the airline come together to ensure operational continuity. Our executive offices, maintenance hangar, and SOCC are all situated together, so whether I have a question for someone in senior management or need to check for something in an aircraft in the hangar, everything is close by.
Was there a certain project that you got to work on that you found really exciting?
One of my most interesting projects I led was our Hot Turn Audit program. As a regional carrier, short turnaround times allow us to maximize fleet utilization. We keep close track of our on-time performance as a measure of our success in feeding the network, but we needed a clear performance analysis of all elements involved in a ‘hot’ turn (i.e. a flight with a quick turnaround). I built an iPad app in Microsoft PowerApps for auditors to track ground crew performance, and built a dynamic report in Power BI to clearly display the audit results and develop insights. After I received my security clearance, I occasionally accompanied Liz (Manager, Facilities, Cabin, and Ramp Environment) to the ramp to perform audits.
Auditing flights on the tarmac was an unbelievable experience. Standing outside our gates at Pearson while auditing turnarounds using the app, surrounded by aircraft, was incredibly exciting. I got to see how ramp congestion, manpower availability, late passengers, and other factors can sometimes tell a more complete story than delay codes alone. Back at the office, I was able to use my knowledge from the ramp to contextualize the graphs in our reports to improve on-time performance.
Is there particular person at Air Georgian who has helped you in your journey?
My boss, Brock Henderson, is an inspirational leader and has helped me every step of the way during my two years at Air Georgian. He has decades of airline operations experience, and is eager to share as much as I’m eager to learn. One of the best things about working for Brock is that, although he knows the industry and the airline inside out, he wants to hear my opinions and take my input on our projects, which drives me to learn while giving me the opportunity to make an impact.
Do you have any advice for future co-op students?
Ask a lot of questions, and be open to anything. One of the first things that struck me when I started at Air Georgian in the summer of 2018 was that everyone is more than willing to share their knowledge with you. Ask questions, and offer to help with everything. What you learn from a small task you volunteered on can lead to a much larger project than you originally thought, and your offer to help someone with their work could introduce you to a part of aviation you never considered before.
How did Air Georgian help prepare you for your future career?
Air Georgian has given me opportunities that I never could have imagined two years ago. I’ve developed transferable skills like project management and leadership, and my experiences in SOCC will allow me to bring an operational perspective to the table in all my future endeavours. Air Georgian has also helped me make connections with people in various functions throughout the airline industry, which has allowed me to start building my professional network.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Working at Air Georgian over the past two years has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The company’s close-knit culture has made me feel like I’m a part of the team, and I’d strongly recommend every student with an interest in aviation apply to Air Georgian’s co-op program.
Atticus hopes to work in airline network strategy or revenue management in the future, and we’re confident his skills and passion are going to get him there. We’re so happy to have had Atticus as a part of our team these past two years and wish him all the best in his future endevours!
Interested in joining our team?
At Air Georgian, it’s important to us to introduce as many bright minds as possible to the aviation industry and to support them in their career paths. Aviation offers a number of exciting career opportunities, and we are always looking for new ways to create awareness and engagement surrounding these careers, especially those at Air Georgian!
With an inclusive, welcoming culture and a close-knit crew, we’re proud to offer the opportunity to learn and grow with our team. Learn how you can start your career in aviation today!