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Shweeta Shayal

Airport Services Duty Manager

24 August 2023

Meet Shweeta, a self-confessed people person who loves being the Airport Services Duty Manager for the night shift team.

What do you love most about your job? The people and the variety. Every day we handle multiple different situations – no two days are ever the same. Just when I think I’ve seen everything at the airport, the next surprise awaits!

What’s been your favourite project so far at Christchurch Airport? The P.A.W.S. (Pups Assisting With Stress) programme. I think it is a wonderful initiative to have the pups walking around the terminal. It lightens the mood for kids and adults alike.

What led you to this career? I’ve always been a people person. Hospitality and Tourism were my favourite subjects in school, which is why I decided to pursue a job where I get to work with all sorts of people from around the world.

I was lucky enough to be chosen for the Airport Services Cadet programme. I did this for 12 months, then worked with Ground Transport for eight months, then back to Airport Services Coordinator. After a further 18 months, I became the Airport Services Senior and finally, another year later, I became Airport Services Duty Manager for the night shift team.

Coolest project you’ve ever worked on? Activating Pepper, one of our airport robots, at the Domestic Screening Point. Pepper prepares passengers by giving them valuable information about the Domestic Departures Screening process.

Most exciting moment on the job? I started a programme to introduce Pepper and Nao, our airport robots, to school groups at the airport. Kids and their parents came into the terminal to spend lunchtime with us, eating their lunches and interacting with Pepper and Nao in our Digital Innovation Zone. They sang, danced, played games and even took Nao for a walk.

A memorable airport moment? Seeing families reunite when the borders re-opened. There were so many mixed emotions. I will never forget it.

Tell us one thing more people wouldn't know about you. I enjoy fishing. I often used to go fishing with my dad in Kaikōura and believe it or not I have caught a few fish in my life!

What are you happiest doing when you're not working? Online shopping and going on walks with my fiancé and our dog.

Biggest life accomplishment? Becoming a Duty Manager at the age of 25 at Christchurch Airport.

Where’s your hometown, and what’s its best-kept secret? I was born in Fiji and moved to Christchurch when I was 8 years old, along with my parents and sister. Fiji is a place where any age group or person can fit in. It has many hidden treasures... the beaches, the warmth and the friendly Fijians who sing to welcome you when you arrive at Nadi Airport. It’s all incredible.

Where’s your favourite winter escape? In Fiji, with cocktails on the beach.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their career at the airport? I would say go for it! The airport is a great place if you want to keep developing and succeeding. The people are amazing and welcome you as their own. If you are a people person you will have no problem building a career at the airport.