Keeping the UK’s busiest airport running involves literally thousands of staff and hundreds of company, and at the heart of the day-to-day activity are our Airport Operations Managers (AOMs). AOM Anuj Bhardwaj, who features in Episode 1 of Britain’s Busiest Airport – Heathrow, initially only interviewed for the role as practice for job interviews but fell in love with the place and has now been here for 8 years.
What is your official job title?
Airport Operations Manager
How long have you worked at Heathrow?
Eight years in November
How did you get into your job and why?
I applied for Heathrow as a practice interview for a job I wanted in the West End. At the interview, I was amazed at the complexities of Heathrow and how exciting the job would be, so I took it – no regrets.
What’s a day in the life of your job really like?
It’s amazing – My role ensures that the airport is operating to plan, maintaining constant overview of everything that is going on at one of the world’s busiest airports. It’s an immense responsibility. More importantly, when we are not operating to plan, I need to come up with a strategy to help either get back on plan or to minimise the disruption to the customer.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
I firmly believe that my role is to make EVERY journey better– sometimes in times of crisis we are making a lot of journeys better, but not all of them, which is hard to see.
Favourite thing about working at an airport?
Being at the Airport is like starring in “The Truman Show” – constantly being watched and always on stage. The buzz is almost impossible to explain. We have nearly a quarter of a million people passing through daily and the different types of people really makes it an amazing place to work.
Favourite thing about your job?
Being surrounded by people constantly – staff or passengers – and knowing that I can make a positive difference to their day
What has been a particularly memorable moment for you while working at Heathrow?
My favourite part of the airport is standing in Arrivals watching people enter the country and see their loved ones for the first time in ages. My favourite time was when I was chatting to a man who had never met his two year old granddaughter. To see his face when she first came through the doors was priceless.
Oh, and selfish one – loved marshalling an aircraft!
What is one piece of advice you would share with our passengers?
Heathrow is full of people that are passionate about working here. If you are ever lost or experience something that is below standard – stop and tell somebody that works for us all about it because we are always here to help and improve.
Where are you from?
I live in Northolt, and my parents are from India.
Any children or pets?
No pets, 2 children – Daughter Maya(5) and Son Rishi(3)
My main hobby is my family– love them to bits and enjoy every second I have with them. Outside of that, it is sport and music. I play football and cricket and am the lead singer in a band.
Favourite film/TV show?
Film( tough question, so I’ll give you my top five) – My Fair Lady, Patch Adams, Pay It Forward, Moulin Rouge and The Lion King. TV show – The Simpsons
Favourite music band?
If I can go for artist instead of band, I would go for Sam Cooke. Favourite band is The Beatles.