It took Alwyn five years in the banking sector to realise the error of his ways. After that experience he took a degree in English and French and entered the educational sector, where he remained for eight years. Concurrently, he began freelance writing in his spare time. In 1992 he took another plunge, which saw him quit secondary teaching and join a monthly magazine. After several years spent in automotive and food technology journals he moved into aviation, becoming Ground Handling International's Editor in 2000. To date he has written two books and has a third in the pipeline.
Max joined GHI in 2017 after launching and hosting conference and award events in the UK manufacturing industry. A trained journalist, Max strives to deliver innovative content on stage, online or in print that challenges, educates and entertains. As a non-aviation professional - Max is always eager to don the hi-vis jacket and get out on the apron to experience the everyday challenges facing ground handling businesses and their airline customers. Max graduated as a biochemist from Cardiff University in 2001. He became a NUJ/NCTJ accredited journalist in 2003. Max went on to an award-winning 14 year editorial career including stints at magazines in the UK pub, pharmacy and manufacturing sectors. Outside of work - Max is never far from a book, the fridge or the 5-a-side football pitch.
Sales & Project Manager TractEasy (developed by TLD/EasyMile)
Smart Airport Systems (SAS)
Cyril launched his career in the aviation industry working as a project engineer for a software company, after graduating from the engineering school ESTACA in Paris. He joined TLD (ALVEST Group) in 2016 as a sales engineer, based in Australia. During this time, he participated in expanding TLD's presence in Oceania by introducing some key electrical ground support equipment. Cyril relocated to France in 2019 to join Smart Airport Systems, where he has participated in the growth of this new division of ALVEST. He currently leads the commercialisation and project management of the TractEasy solution.
Desiree is a recognised expert in the aviation industry for her work with leadership teams and individuals on leadership and professional development. Prior to her 18 years in aviation, Desiree lived in Argentina, then Germany, before being relocated to the US in 2011. Desiree served as a senior leader in the aviation industry on a global level, leading multicultural customer excellence teams for some of the most recognised airlines, airports and service providers. During that time she witnessed first-hand the importance of leadership development. Desiree currently speaks on the importance of leadership development in an ever-changing aviation environment, with an increased focus on profitability, customer service and safety.
Gary Thistlethwaite is currently the Head of Health, Safety & Compliance for Stobart Aviation Services; a Ground Handling, Passenger Services & Cargo provider based in the United Kingdom. Gary has worked in the Civil Aviation sector since 2015, prior to which his career was spent in Logistics, FMCG, Military Aviation & Construction industries. Gary's ultimate goal is to help Stobart Aviation Services live up to its core values to Take Care, Always Improve, Own it Together, and Stay Connected.
Jakub is the Safety and Quality Manager for Air Dispatch CLC and an experienced operational manager.
He joined Air Dispatch CLC in 2012 to manage the start-up and growth of the Warsaw station. After successfully implementing a number of airlines and leading the station’s development, he took on the position of company’s Safety, Quality and Compliance Manager.
Prior to Air Dispatch he was working for one of Warsaw’s handling agents, taking on operational and management roles and being part of IT-related DCS and airline implementation projects. Concurrently, he was a part-time teacher of information technology in one of Warsaw’s colleges.
Jakub holds a post graduate diploma in Safety Management System in Aviation.
James has over 20 years of aviation experience, focused on the air cargo sector, having worked at Lufthansa Cargo, AeroLogic, Qatar Airways, DHL Express and the International Air Transport Association. This period has provided him with various skill sets, including Aircraft Ground Operations, Global Station Management, Cargo Operational Management, Quality & Safety Management, Cargo Warehousing, Dangerous Goods and Product Management.
Jelmer started out in aviation working as a baggage loader at Eindhoven airport, whilst studying at the University of Technology, where he was caught by the aviation virus. After gaining operational experience in the various Viggo daughter companies, Jelmer became the leader of the Viggo Business Development team, subsequently becoming the CTO of Smart Solutions by Viggo, a separate consulting branch within the Viggo holding. As a happy father of 1 son, I try to divide my time between my family, work and long distance cycling.
Justin is Virgin Atlantic’s Senior Manager for Operational Excellence and Rest of World Airports. He looks after airport operations in EU, Asia, Africa and the Middle East – focusing on operational performance, customer experience and safety. Justin has 15 years' experience in the aviation industry, the majority of his career spent in an airport environment, before moving into a head office role. He enjoys football, travelling and reading.
Kim joined Power Stow and the aviation industry in 2015, after accruing many years of experience from the food industry. At Power Stow Kim is responsible for sales and business development of the German, Austrian, Scandinavian/Nordic, Baltic and East European markets. Kim has a wealth of insight within the GSE sector, along with a deep interest and knowledge of safety issues in the processes relating to ground handling.
Matthias is Senior Vice President Global Operations at Swissport. He is responsible for Swissport’s operational standards (policy, manual and standard operating procedures, global training) and global fleet management. In his function, Matthias aligns to industry bodies such as IATA to assure compliance with international standards. Before joining Swissport, he worked as a Manager for SWISS International Air Lines and as Senior Consultant on behalf of Lufthansa Consulting for various airlines and airports across the world.
Nick is Director of Global Product Development for JBT AeroTech - GSE. He is responsible for the development of JBT's aircraft loaders, de-icers, conventional and towbarless tractors, transporters and passenger boarding steps, and directs engineering teams in Orlando, Madrid and Kunshan in China. Nick was born and raised in the Netherlands, where he obtained his BA in Engineering and an MBA. He joined JBT (called FMC at the time) in 1997 at the European headquarters in Brussels and moved to Orlando to join the GSE business in 2000.
Robert is Executive Vice President Cargo for Menzies Aviation, and based in Edinburgh. He re-joined Menzies in October 2017, having spent the previous nine years with Etihad, mostly based in the United Arab Emirates, where he held the position of Head of Cargo Operations, with accountability for hub operations and the global cargo handling network, overseeing significant growth of the airline and its cargo handling business. Prior to the move to Abu Dhabi, Robert’s first tenure with Menzies was a ten year stint in various commercial roles, including global key account management. He learnt the cargo business in his early years with Lufthansa Cargo based at London Heathrow in a number of operational and quality management roles. Robert is a former board member of cargoiQ and a current member of IATA’s Cargo Handling Consultative Council. He holds an Advanced Masters in Airline Operations Management from ENAC University in Toulouse, France.
Rob has been Vice President Technical Services for dnata in the United Arab Emirates since 2020, after joining dnata in 2018. A seasoned international manager, Rob has experienced life and work with all the MEB3 operators, having previously been Senior Manager Logistics and GSE with Etihad Airport Services in Abu Dhabi and Manager Engineering Services with Qatar Aviation Services in Doha. He also spent time with Aer Lingus in Dublin as Senior Manager Ramp Operations. He began his 35 year journey in aviation as an Engineering Apprentice with BAA at Gatwick airport and has grown to experience multiple operational, technical and executive level functions in ground handling and airport operations.
A senior military leader and engineer by background, Ross is now a freelance qualified safety professional, strategic programme manager and public speaker. Ross draws on his 30 years of experience in the aviation sector to advise clients on how to improve organisational performance whilst enhancing safety across operations.
In 2018 Ross accepted the post of Business Development Manager for Baines Simmons, where he spent 18 months delivering business development activities in the aviation safety environment for civil and military clients around the world. After leaving, he became the Aeronautical Director for GMR Aviation and he is also a Senior Engineer and Project Manager for Nova Systems. He is also a Non-Executive Director and Chairman for Kura Human Factors. In addition, Ross is a fully qualified workplace mediator and witness for aviation accidents and incidents and he regularly works under instruction for large legal organisations, providing advice and writing court compliant reports in support of legal cases.
A Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a regular speaker on the RAeS lecture circuit, Ross has presented on a variety of topics at conferences and events around the world.
Sebastian is a Virginia Tech graduate, where he took a degree in Management in Innovation Technologies, along with a degree in Marketing. He started his career with 3M as a Product Manager in Paris, then quickly moved on to become a Europe, Middle East and Africa Product Manager for PPG in Milan, before joining Charlatte as an Export Manager.
Wolfgang has more than 20 years of experience in aviation. He held numerous management positions in ramp handling, cargo and passenger handling. He finally set up a centralised load control company before he decided to move into consulting. A specific passion of his is how people behave and decide. This led him into game theory and the quest to apply it to the aviation industry.