Mackenzie Thorpe Centre

The Mackenzie Thorpe Centre is an independent specialist school based in South Bank, Redcar and Cleveland for pupils aged 5-19

Working together to inspire, support, celebrate and equip autistic and neurodiverse people to fulfil their potential in life.

Our post-14 pupils visited Teesside airport to learn about all the different jobs there as part of their careers education.

As well as watching a huge plane take off, they also saw some of the specially modified Dassault Falcon jets fly off ready to practice over the North Sea! 

Pupils learned that there are 160 people working at Teesside Airport because there are many different jobs to do before the pilot can fly the plane. 

Some of the jobs they learned about were:

  • Security and checking into the airport – why safety is important
  • Baggage handling – what happens to our luggage when we check in 
  • Cabin crew – how they keep us safe in the air  

And because it was a snowy day when we visited the airport, we even had the special treat of watching a plane get de-iced before its flight!

There were some jobs that we didn’t even know existed - for example, some people are responsible for scaring the birds from the runway to make sure it is fully safe for take-off. 

We had a special presentation from Jane Murphy, Health and Safety Advisor for Teesside Airport, who explained how the airport always stays safe. Jane answered lots of questions from students including:

  • "What does a Health and Safety Advisor do?" (Harry)
  • "What is the biggest risk at the airport?" (Daniel)
  • "Would the jets be used in a real war?" (Ashley)
  • "Where are pets kept on a plane?" (Ryley)

Pupils had specialist training on jobs in the air from Susannah Mead, the Aviation Course Leader from Teesside Aviation Skills Academy. Susannah gave a fantastic introduction on how to become cabin crew.

Pupils took part in a safety demonstration where Susannah shared her amazing experience of being cabin crew and how this job involves a lot of health and safety measures.  

A huge thank you to Teesside Airport staff for making our experience very special.