Blue Skies Ahead: New Blog Posting – Candace McKibbon

Jul 27, 2017

BLUE SKIES AHEAD BLOG

Ever wonder what it would be like working for the BC Aviation Council and/or The Vancouver Airport Authority in Operations? This month we have sat down with our very own Candace McKibbon to chat about her career.

COULD YOU INTRODUCE YOURSELF PLEASE?

My name is Candace McKibbon, I am currently the Executive Director of the BC Aviation Council and hold a position at the Vancouver Airport Authority as a Terminal Duty Officer. I grew up in Salmon Arm and spent my childhood on the lake. I moved to Vancouver in 2012 to attended BCIT and graduated from the Airport Operations program in February of 2014. Now I live and work in Vancouver and hope to have a long career in the aviation industry.

BCIT class on an airside and wildlife tour at YVR in 2013

HOW DID YOU START OUT IN THE AVIATION INDUSTRY? WAS IT A CONSCIOUS DECISION OR DID YOU END UP IN IT BY CHANCE?

I would say it was by chance. I always liked airports; I used to just go hang out at Kelowna Airport when I was younger. I loved the energy in airports. After high school I worked in the service industry and spent time backpacking in Europe. I never thought much about post-secondary until my Husband and I were deciding to move to Vancouver from Edmonton and I was looking at which restaurant I could transfer to. I thought I would check out BCIT’s website and see if there was something that would catch my eye, and there it was “Airport Operations”. Who knew this was a thing? I immediately got excited and applied to the program.

BCAC’s Youth Engagement Committee at BCIT Transportation’s event with Chris Hadfield in 2014.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB IN AVIATION, AND HOW DO YOU THINK IT CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS?

My first job was in Customer Care with Marquise Group (now Carillion) at YVR. I scanned boarding passes, checked Nexus cards, worked at the information counters, and many more positions throughout YVR. It was a great way to meet people in the airport and learn how the airport functions. Side note- I applied for this job several times after graduating without any luck. I finally got an interview after I met Marquise’s General Manager and Manager of Customer Care at an Aviation Leadership Foundation event. I strongly encourage new graduates who haven’t found work in aviation to stay involved through volunteering and attending networking events. You never know who you might run into!

COULD YOU PLEASE GIVE A BRIEF INTRODUCTION OF YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION?

BC Aviation Council, Executive Director: I started this position almost 2 years ago. I was quite involved with BCAC throughout my time at BCIT. I always tried to volunteer at as many BCAC events as I could and was awarded a BCAC scholarship while in school. I mostly work on communications for BCAC (social media, newsletters, annual reports, website) as well as planning and hosting events, seeking new members, promoting BCAC at industry events, connecting with members, and working with the Board to set annual goals for BCAC. Right now I am working on our next 5-year strategic plan.

Vancouver Airport Authority, Terminal Duty Officer (TDO): My most asked question – “What does a Terminal Duty Officer do?” I think the question should be “What doesn’t a Terminal Duty Officer do?”

We have a team of 9 TDOs and can have up to 3 working each shift. We work 12 hour shifts and there is at least one TDO present at the airport at all times. We respond to any incident in the terminal including fire alarms, medicals, congestion, customer service calls, baggage outages, RCMP incidents, and more. Basically we are there to ensure the terminal is operating as it should and respond to anything that is outside of normal operations. With it being the busiest summer ever at YVR we are moving around the terminal all day and generally walk an average of 20KM a day!

IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE THREE MOST ESSENTIAL SKILLS THAT HELPED YOU ADVANCE IN YOUR CARRIER TO WHERE YOU STAND NOW?

  1. Interpersonal: Networking and the love for being around people
  2. Communication
  3. Teamwork

Marcia Strang, YVR Emergency Planning Coordinator taking me flying!

WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

In both my positions I get to work with amazing people that make my day everyday.

BCAC’s Youth Engagement Committee in 2013

WHAT IS ONE OF THE BEST EXPERIENCES YOU HAVE HAD SO FAR IN THE INDUSTRY?

When I was on practicum at YVR during my time at BCIT, I worked with Marcia Strang who is the Emergency Planning Coordinator with the Airport Authority and we got to put on the full fire fighting gear and go into an aircraft filled with smoke and practice just like the emergency response team at YVR does. It was an awesome experience as was the entire practicum I spent there that included coordinating a large-scale emergency exercise at YVR.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUTH WHO ARE LOOKING TO START THEIR CAREERS IN THE AVIATION INDUSTRY?

My advice is what was given to me: your network is so important to your career. Keep a good connection with people and don’t just reach out to someone when you need something. Networking is building professional friendships.

I also tell everyone they should apply for scholarships and awards; BCAC has many aviation scholarships. If you are awarded one it gives you recognition in the industry that has huge value.

Receiving BCIT’s Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Technologies

READ MORE:

Youth Engagement
  • A password reset e-mail has been sent.

Recover Your Password

Lost your password? Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.

  • A password reset e-mail has been sent.

Recover Your Password

Lost your password? Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.

  • A password reset e-mail has been sent.

Recover Your Password

Lost your password? Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.