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Dan O'Connor

Ground Transport Supervisor

Dan O’Connor, from our Ground Transport team, has been with the airport for 30 years and volunteered with Land Search and Rescue for nearly 20! 

What do you do as Ground Transport Supervisor? We look after all parking areas, traffic management, assist customers if they need help, and assist with emergency response events. As Supervisor, I also look after any administration and team training.

What do you love most about your job? I’m a people person, so the best part for me is meeting new people, both airport staff and members of the public. I also love helping any lost souls to find their way around the airport.

You’ve been with the airport for 30 years! Favourite memory? I was offered a temporary job for four weeks back in 1990 to help cover some shifts, and now I can’t believe I have been here for 30 years this month!

My favourite airport memory (besides meeting my wife here of course!), would have to be when President Clinton came for a state visit with Air Force One and Air Force Two. They were both parked side by side on the US hard stand - that had never been done anywhere else in the world at that time, or since.

My second fondest memory was when the Concorde came to Christchurch and I was one of the very few who got to go aboard and have a look.

Before working at the airport, you were in the military. Why the change of pace? Military life was full on - I loved it and I do miss it! - however, this job is similar in some way. We work in a small team environment and look after each other, have task-based jobs and goals, and work in all elements year round to get the job done. One bonus is we don’t have to wear the full uniform and use military language.

Your lovely wife also works at the airport. What are your top tips for living and working together? First, try to avoid each other at work. Second, never talk about work. Third, never bring work home. And most importantly, always answer “yes dear”.

What’s one thing people may not know about you? I volunteered my time as a member of Land Search and Rescue for 18 years. I was based in the Oxford area and turned my passion of getting outdoors hunting and tramping into a way to help people. Our tasks were predominately to look for lost trampers or hunters, and work with the Police.

Go-to South Island holiday spot? Definitely Hanmer Springs for its hot pools, good food and forest walks. It’s a great, affordable place to unwind without having to spend the day driving to get there.