Engineering new jobs at the Airport Authority
The automated people mover at Hong Kong International Airport is a computerised railway system that enables passengers to travel between Terminals 1 and 2 and the SkyPier.
Kyle Tam, an assistant engineer employed by the Airport Authority, is responsible for the maintenance of the system.
“I co-ordinate with different parties, such as operations, contractors and government bodies at work. My duty is to devise and schedule the works carefully in order to maintain the sound, effective and safe operation of the system. Tender preparation and cost budgeting are also major features of my work,” he says.
Tam started as a graduate engineer with the Airport Authority. After completing the two-year Hong Kong Institution of Engineers Graduate Scheme “A”, and an interview with top management, he was promoted to become an assistant engineer.
Tam has to come up with solutions for the better management of the railway system. “Acquiring the professional chartership qualification is my intermediate goal in the coming years. After acquiring professional qualifications, as well as sufficient working experience and good project management skills, I will be qualified to take up the position of engineer, then maintenance manager of various airport systems, and even senior manager.”
Tam loves working at the airport because he has access to machines not found elsewhere. “There are lots of special systems that are unique to the airport operations. For example, the airfield ground lighting system gives precise guidance to pilots for the safe landing of aircraft, while the baggage handling system can manage 8,400 to 16,000 bags per hour. I am always excited to have a chance to understand the working principle of these systems,” he says.
Tam works mostly from 9am to 6pm. Depending on the stages of different projects, he will sometimes conduct site visits or test and commission works at night.
With the continuous development in infrastructure, Tam expects plenty of job opportunities for engineers at the airport.
“In the medium term, we have new projects including the construction of the midfield and west apron development. As for the long term, the government has approved in principle the adoption of the three-runway option as the future direction of development. The airport industry will be filled with an abundance of opportunities,” Tam says.
Degree holders in electrical, mechanical, building services, electronic and civil engineering are welcome to apply for jobs at the airport, he adds.
“I advise people who are interested in my field to have a craving for knowledge because there are always new things to learn. Good analytical and communication skills are certainly an advantage for the position,” says Tam.