Onwards and upwards for ‘top flight’ former student

Posted: May 17, 2021

Tom Berwick is flying high after becoming the new Airport Duty Manager at Teesside International Airport – only a couple of years after excelling on an aviation course at Leeds City College.

Tom, now 22, joined the School of Travel, Food and Drink in September, 2017 to pursue his course which he completed with a Distinction.

He has worked in aviation since graduating though his career suffered a temporary setback in 2020 when he was made redundant from his position at Leeds Bradford Airport due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

That forced him to take up alternative work for a while until he spotted an opportunity to land the Airport Duty Manager role at Teesside: and he grabbed it with both hands.


“I’m delighted to have taken on this position and my family are really proud.

“When I started at Leeds City College I never knew so much actually went into aviation operations. I didn’t know that positions such as airport duty managers and airside operations officers existed.

“Through learning about all the other aspects of the industry, and not just focusing on the cabin crew and pilots, it really broadened my horizons.

“I only ever wanted to be a cabin crew member but after the college helped me secure a job on the ground at Swissport, as a passenger service agent, I’ve never looked back.”


“Life on the ground can be just as exciting as life in the air. Every day is different, with new challenges all the time.

“If it hadn’t been for Leeds City College showing me there is more to flying than cabin crew, my career on the ground would have never taken off.”


“Aviation has always been my sort of thing and I always knew it was where I wanted to work.

“The industry has just gone through a really tough year but I’m very optimistic going forward because the vaccination programme is continuing to rollout across Europe and the demand for flights is definitely there.

“People really want to get away.”


Donna Feeny, Head of the School of Travel, Food and Drink, hailed Tom’s progress as a ‘fantastic success story’. She said: “He has been promoted so quickly and early on in his career.

“His employers have clearly seen the same potential that we saw in Tom when he was one of our students only a few years ago.”

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