Team Member Spotlight – Paul Knight – Operations Specialist

Paul Knight has over 30 years’ experience in the operation of airport installations, into-plane fuelling facilities and maintenance and technical support. He has worked with eJet on a range of audit and inspection projects both in the UK and overseas.

Introduce yourself Paul and tell us about some of the projects you have worked on with eJet.

I have worked with eJet for just over 3 years now. The biggest project I have been involved with was a massive series of inspections we carried out across the airports of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2016/17. There were 27 airports in all and each one was unique in some way (remote locations, numbers of flights) and so this made it a varied and interesting project. And hot. Very, very hot! Up to 40 degrees.

What kind of things might you look at during a typical inspection for eJet?

Generally it is a case of attending site and assessing operational gaps. I normally inspect to JIG standards and always provide the client with a report detailing my findings. Depending on the scope of the project, I may then be involved in assisting the client with closing the gaps and achieving optimum operational health. As well as audits and inspections I have also written a number of bespoke operations’ manuals for use at client facilities. I also help train new eJet team members by taking them on an airport fuel farm tour and introducing them to on the ground fuelling operations.

Paul on site for eJet in Europe and the UK

We asked the team at eJet HQ to pick 3 words that describe you best. The top choices were “knowledgeable”, “approachable” and “level headed”.  How does this make you feel?

Anyone would be pleased to be described as knowledgeable! I have been working in the aviation industry for some time and as well as it being a career, it is also somewhat of a passion and I think perhaps that comes across to people. I do try to be approachable and I’m always happy to answer any technical questions from the team or clients. You have to be pretty calm and level headed in this industry especially when you are on site with ‘trained’ technicians and they attempt to carry out a filter change using dangerous procedures!

Tell us a bit more about your career to date and what kind of things you have done to gain all this well reputed knowledge.

I started work as a vehicle engineering apprentice in 1975 at 16 years old with Shell on a 5-year apprenticeship scheme. After I finished that I stayed with Shell but transferred to Heathrow to become an Airfield Operator and later a Quality Control Supervisor. In the nineties I moved to Bournemouth where I started as the Depot Superintendent and then later become Operations’ Manager. This was a big change going from the Heathrow activity to a small regional airport without much scheduled traffic, relying on GA flying and military activity which brought its own challenges. So, as you can see, lots of hands on airside experience! In recent years I have worked as an independent consultant and this work has taken me to many varied destinations around the world.

Such as where?

Kosovo, France, Greece, Falkland Islands, Algeria to name but a few.

What do you like most about working in the aviation industry?

Every day has different challenges, it’s a close-knit community which allows comradeship. I also like carrying out refuelling duties for air shows, bringing all sorts of aircraft together.

And finally, what do you do in your spare time?

Anything to do with mechanical engines…tinkering modifying or attending motor shows. I also enjoy travelling.

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