Lauren MacKay, Ground Security Operative, Benbecula Airport
How long have you been in your current role?
I have been doing this for the last 4 years. The first 2 years I was full time, and then part time (zero hours) after.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
When I was at school I wanted to join the police. In my final year I realised I no longer wanted to do this but wasn’t sure what else I was interested in doing, but I knew I wanted to stay on the island.
I got a job as a trainee dental nurse on a fixed term contract and enjoyed it, but as my time there was coming to an end I started looking for other jobs locally. I saw a vacancy for a Ground Security Operative at Benbecula Airport and decided to apply. I then worked here full time for 2 years, and during this time helped my dad to build stables for my horses. I enjoyed this so much that I decided to pursue a career in the construction industry and so moved to Glasgow to do Quantity Surveying at City of Glasgow College. Now I’m in Glasgow I fly back during my days off and during my holidays to provide relief cover.
What are your main responsibilities in your current role?
My main responsibilities include processing the flight, which involves body searches, passenger swabbing, bag searches, bag swabbing, X-raying passengers’ hand and hold luggage and liquid testing. We undertake regular patrols of the airport grounds and man the main access point. We aim to provide excellent customer service while ensuring the safety of our passengers.
Are there any particular challenges?
Passengers can be challenging at times if they stressed due to delayed flights or nervous of flying.
What do you love about your job at HIAL…
I love providing a service to a variety of people every day.
The only downside is…
Having to do patrols when the Benbecula wind and rain is at its worst!
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I like riding my horses and spending time with my little cousins. I try to make the most of the good weather when we have it as you never know how long it will stay! I also enjoy going to ceilidhs and dances at the weekend with my friends and listening to the local musicians.
What are your recommendations for someone visiting Benbecula?
My favourite things to do in the area include going for meals with my family at the Stepping Stone restaurant in Balivanich, and taking my dog for walks on Benbecula’s beautiful beaches, especially Cula Bay.