Swiftair’s Compliance Monitoring Manager Enrique Paredes-Gacimartin has years of experience in various aviation fields. He says that his experience working in different sectors of the industry is exactly what informs his decision making when encountering a problem. Part of Swiftair’s monumental project allowing students of aircraft maintenance to receive one complete year of on-the-job training (instead of only a few weeks) he joins AIR Convention to talk in depth about HR & Training and how the company’s pioneering project started change in training culture.
Why did you choose to work in aviation?
I am probably a case of “Late Vocation”.
As a child I had never been a so called “Aviation Freak” and no one in my family or within my close friends had ever had any relation with it. My interests at that time were different, and if anyone asked me what my future work could be related to I would have never answered “aviation”.
Then, as it often happens, a few small things happened simultaneously, and changed everything. A good score in a “difficult” Mathematics exam at school at the age of 15, planes and helicopters flying low over my home every October 12th, and an unexpected visit to an airport made me think that maybe my future had to be related to engineering and planes.
A couple of years later, I ticked the box of “Aeronautical Engineering” in my application for the University, and when the Aviation bug bites you, there is no going back.
As no one among the people around me could give me any advice, I had to find my own way in this sector, and I realized that there are so many different “worlds” within the Aviation sector that it is impossible to get bored.
I tried the military side, working for civil aircraft manufacturer and a small airline. And then, someone asked me… Would you see yourself working in Aircraft Maintenance Quality and Training?… And that was just the beginning.
What is the most remarkable change in this field you are looking for?
In a society where everybody has access to the latest news and can form their individual on various industries, aviation is still unknown. Questions like “Is it safe to fly with a low cost airline?” or “are propeller aircraft old?” are quite common, and I still have to answer them from time to time.
I look forward for the day aviation will be perceived as “something normal”, and more people will be willing to join, and more talent could be found.
What is the most interesting thing people don’t know about your area of expertise?
Being part of a Quality Department allows you to meet many people working in different areas and in different places, each of them with their individual understanding of their jobs. You not only get an overview of the business, but also detailed information on how each area and department work.
You don’t become an expert, but you can use all the things you have learnt, all this knowledge from various areas in the sector to open the eyes of the real experts to allow them to change and improve. And when a very qualified professional tells you things like “thanks for the information, I didn’t know that” or “I will try to find how to implement this procedure you are talking about” you feel so powerful, that you believe you can overcome any problem.
Your personal inspirations are…?
I am inspired by every person I meet that really believes in what they are doing and are eager to learn more.