Langley Regional Airport Operations Manager & Pitt Meadows Airport Operations Supervisor

Nov 2, 2017

Roger (left) and Stephen both assist in managing neighboring airports

In the aviation industry, it’s often said that everyone is like family. In the case of Stephen and Roger Van Dolder that couldn’t be more true. The two brothers each assist in managing neighboring airports – Pitt Meadows and Langley. We wanted to find out how this family dynamic works, so this month we sat down with Stephen and Roger to get the scoop.

Both Roger and Stephen started in the industry after securing jobs at the Esso Avitat FBO at YVR fueling and working in ramp operations. It was after working for Esso that they each enrolled in the BCIT Airport Operations Program, Roger in 2007 and Stephen in 2014. Both Roger and Stephen are BCAC scholarship winners as well.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Roger: My day is never the same as the last. It typically involves performing airport inspections, project budgets and management, overseeing contractors, airport maintenance, lighting, fuel orders and quality assurance, landscaping, etc. I am also responsible for updates and management of the Airport Operations Manual, Safety Management System, CFS, Wildlife Management Plan, and the Emergency Response Plan.

Stephen: There is no typical day, I can be doing anything from managing grass cutting to overseeing a large project, like our runway extension project we completed this summer. Everything we learned at BCIT we do, BCIT helped us get the jobs we have today.

Was it easy to find a job after graduation?

Roger: After graduating, I applied for positions from Victoria to St. Johns, and never gave up. I began working at the Langley Regional Airport a few years later. During a BCIT practicum, I spent two weeks at Langley Airport working on their Emergency Response Plan. After graduation, I continued to stay in touch with the Airport Managers George and Guy Miller. When the airport budget allowed for another position, I was offered the job.

Stephen: I had a little more luck with timing, and was offered a job at Abbotsford Airport (YXX) before even graduating BCIT. I accepted the position and was working to finish school and at YXX. Shortly after starting at YXX, I received a call for a job at Pitt Meadows Airport that I had previously applied for. It was hard to leave Abbotsford, but I knew the right thing to do for myself was to make the jump and start at Pitt Meadows as the Operations Supervisor. I now run a crew of 6 at Pitt Meadows and am in charge of operations at the airport.

You are both responsible for a lot, does it impact your family life and schedule?

Stephen: We are both on-call if something happens at the airport. We typically work Monday-Friday.

Roger: It is a great job when you have a young family. (As both brothers do)

What advice do you have for students or those starting out in the industry?

Roger: Be open to relocating outside of the Lower Mainland for a job.

Stephen: Attend BCIT and BCAC networking events that are not mandatory. Networking is key in this industry and these relationships are important as you progress in your career.

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Youth Engagement
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