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Published Sep 22, 2022

The airport is a unique work environment. Whether you're on the frontline assisting passengers or working in planning and analytics, you'll rarely get two days the same.

Like other airports, our operation is reliant on a number of different teams working together in tandem. Without this we simply wouldn't be able to process the tens of thousands of passengers we see pass through our doors each day.

One team crucial to the success of the airport is the Business Planning team. Their insight allows us to plan ahead, meet day-to-day challenges, and respond quickly to any issues we face.

We hear from Rory Bayliss-Chalmers, Business Planning Analyst at Edinburgh Airport, about his role - and what a typical day looks like for him (if there even is such a thing).

So, what does Rory's job involve?

The beauty of working in the airport is that every day brings something a little bit different.

"The thing about the airport is there is no one typical day - no two days are the same," Rory said.

"If I had to be general about what we're doing I might come in first thing and look at some passenger data, maybe some security queueing data and look to see if we have any funky trends going on."

Rory Bayliss-Chalmers, business planning - for A Day in the Life

Rory Bayliss-Chalmers spoke about his role at Edinburgh Airport

He added: "Once I've done that it might be a case of having a meeting about some kind of analysis I've done, digging a bit deeper into that and getting feedback from other parts of the operation.

"That could be a short term forecast for security for the next two months, or it might be looking at how many flights we think we're going to have at the airport in ten years from now - how many stands we're going to need, what's the runway going to look like.

"There's a lot of both short term and long term stuff going on."

Working with teams across the airport, and seeing real change happen

Seeing his work result in real change is one of Rory's favourite things about working at EDI.

"As an analyst you do all this maths, and crunch these numbers, but there's no point in doing it if you're not going to get any output from it," he said.

"In the airport you've got a whole bunch of different operational areas going on at the same time - you've got the security operation, you've got the fire service, you've got a whole team that works airside.

"You've got to make sure the analysis you're doing is communicated with all the teams. The data is for them, so there's a lot of collaboration - whether it's regular catch ups or even just meeting for a coffee and saying 'what do you think about this idea we've got for the baggage hall'.

"You can be working on the computer, writing a bit of Python script, thinking 'what's this going to do' and then you see them changing how the desks are laid out, or changing how they are opening the security lanes. It is really good to see it take shape in the real world and improve passengers' experience."

Planning for the future of EDI

One important project Rory has been working on will help shape the future of Edinburgh Airport, and how things look in around a decade from now.

He said: "My favourite thing is longer term planning. One project I'm working on at the moment is Security Futures.

"That's thinking about how the security hall might look in ten years' time, and ensuring it's suitable for the amount of passengers we've got coming through. It's a question of whether there's anything creative we can do with the layout of the hall at the moment - whether we need to build out and put some more security lanes in.

"In longer term planning there's more scope for creative thinking and out the box thinking to come up with cooky solutions, which is a part of the job I really enjoy."

Experience the buzz of the airport - every day

More than 1million passengers pass through the airport every month, so it's certainly a lively place to work.

For Rory the atmosphere is one of the real unique selling points the airport has to offer as a workplace.

He said: "There is just a bit of a buzz. When you're out in the terminal, if you're not one of the staff you're someone who's probably going on holiday. So hopefully you're in a good mood, you're excited - you're buzzing for a lovely trip to Ibiza.

"There's a general good feeling around the airport I'd say."

What would you say to anyone thinking of joining the airport?

Along with the buzz and lively atmosphere, giving employees the space to grow and develop is something the airport prides itself on.

"For Edinburgh Airport I think the airport is really good about caring about the growth and development of its employees," Rory said.

Business planning team at Edinburgh Airport - for A Day in the Life

Rory works in the Business Planning team with colleagues (l to r) Elliot Lister, Ashley Bardal, and Melanie Lucas. Marta Bach (not pictured) completes the team.

"The support options that are given by the airport are second to none. What surprised me when I joined was the amount of freedom and creativity I have when it comes to making decisions.

"If I have an idea and think this is a really good way to improve things in the check-in hall, you're really encouraged to chat to people and say I've done this analysis.

"Obviously you need to make a convincing argument, but the fact that people do use your original ideas to improve the airport is one of my favourite things about working here."

We're currently hiring at Edinburgh Airport. You can find out more about the roles on offer here.