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My job at EDI: An insight into life as an aviation security officer at Edinburgh Airport

Last updated Dec 12, 2022

Speak to anyone who works in airport security and they'll tell you the same thing - it's unlike working in any other job.

For Linda Reape it's the thrill and buzz of a busy day in the security hall - a totally unique working environment - that really makes it what it is. She might have worked at Edinburgh Airport for more than nine years but says there are always fresh things to encounter, with every day bringing something new and different.

Aviation is of course a team game, and as is the case with any airport we at EDI wouldn't be able to function without our security team. They provide a vital service to our passengers, ensuring our day-to-day operations can run smoothly with safety of staff and passengers always paramount.

As we're currently recruiting new aviation security officers we spoke to Linda about what a typical day, if there is such a thing, is like in the security team, and why the role is a lot different to what many people might think.

What does working in airport security involve?

Linda took us step-by-step through a day in the life of an aviation security officer, and outlined the different tasks undertaken by the team.

"First thing you do when you start your shift is go in to see your supervisor," Linda said.

"From there you'll be assigned a position. This could be in the search hall, you could be asked to go out and do a patrol, or you could be assigned to a control post where vehicles are searched."

Officers based in the search hall rotate around a number of different positions, from searching bags and looking at x-ray images, to welcoming passengers at the entrance to security.

Linda added: "If you are in the search hall the jobs can be really varied, and you rotate positions. You could start off by searching bags for 20-minutes, then spend 20-minutes at the body scanner, and then spend time at quality prep where you greet passengers and advise them of what to do and what should go in the trays.

"For me I quite like looking at x-ray images and checking the bags as they go through. You need to be really focused here, and there are no distractions, so you can only do this for a certain amount of time before going to another position."

Linda Reape from security team - for A Day in the Life

Linda Reape, Aviation Security Officer at Edinburgh Airport

What are the best things about working in security?

The sense of team work is something that always shines through when you speak to those working in security, however there are plenty of other benefits Linda was keen to point to.

She said: "For me personally I love it when it's busy. The shifts go so quickly and every day brings something different.

"In the job you meet all kinds of different passengers, and it's not just about making sure they understand and follow the rules, it's about helping them too. Some people are nervous about travelling, and unsure what to do, so we're there to provide that support.

"You interact with all kinds of different people, and you'll see some celebrities too. One thing you're guaranteed is some great stories to tell."

One thing any new recruits to security are told about are the shift patterns, which can at times mean very early mornings.

Linda added: "At first you might look at it and think the shifts are not for everyone, but you quickly get used to the lifestyle and you get into a routine.

"In the summer some shifts mean you can be starting as early as 3am, but then when you finish you've got your whole day left. You can do things like pick up the kids, go shopping.

"It is varied but you quickly work it into your home schedule."

What's it like for a new recruit joining the team?

Linda says colleagues go above and beyond to support any new starters, particularly because they know how unique the environment is.

She added: "When new staff join the team they are always encouraged to ask us if they need anything, we are here to help and support them.

"What we say is there are no silly questions. It can be different to a lot of other jobs, so it's normal to want to ask a lot of questions. We've all been there, so we know how important it is to help and support them.

"I love my colleagues, it's a great team to be a part of. There's always somebody there to help if you need it. It's a really supportive environment.

"Like anything the more you do it all the easier it becomes, and there's a lot of training and feedback that will help along the way.

"You really are part of a team, and all the roles are linked so you're not just doing you're own job and working for yourself, the work you do helps your colleagues and passengers."

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