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On Approach with Elise Fullerton: Airside Coordinator

What do you do here at the airport?

I am an Airside Coordinator. I ensure that all maintenance and capital project activity complies with Transport Canada regulations governing safe airside operations. I also work very closely with NAV CANADA to help maintain safe and efficient aircraft operations at YVR.

What do you like most about working at the airport?

I work with some fantastic people, and the location is pretty incredible: in what other job could you go to work every day and be 90 metres from a runway centerline as a B787 takes off or lands? I'm also proud to work at YVR. Our airport is at the forefront of the industry and always developing new strategies to make YVR more efficient, safe and pleasant for our customers.

What is the biggest challenge you face at work?A

Airside operations is an ever-evolving enterprise, with constant change and so many new tools or processes to try. My biggest challenge is finding time to do it all!

Why did you get involved with aviation?

I wanted to be a helicopter pilot, but it's an expensive and sometimes lonely job, with years of flying that can keep you away from friends and family. I asked myself, "If I'm not going to fly an aircraft, where can I be around them all day long?”

Describe an “average day” at YVR for an Airside Coordinator.

An average day can start out quite calm but suddenly get busy. Typically, my role is to plan upcoming activities or write policies and procedures, but I am also on call, operationally speaking. If an incident or unexpected situation arises, I drop my day job and assist with "day of" operations.

Favourite spot for lunch?

The Flying Beaver.

What’s the most unusual project you’ve worked on airside?

Rather than unusual, let me tell you about the most awesome project I've worked on: the implementation of our Foreign Object Debris (FOD) radar system. YVR was the first airport the world to install a radar system that scans the runways for any items or debris that could cause harm or damage to an aircraft. It's very exciting to be part of this kind of innovation.



  • Mary Dixon wrote on Aug 01 2014 AT 8:48 AM

    Most intersting, may I ask, what  qualifications does one  require to carry out this complicated  position ?


    Mary Dixon
  • Doug McIntyre wrote on Aug 01 2014 AT 12:56 PM

    I'm very pleased to see Elise is succeeding so well as an Airside Coordinator. Elise and I were classmates in the BCIT Airport Operations Program, 2002-03. I wonder if she still has that dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback. She was and is a terrific colleague and will no doubt own YVR in a  few years! In school I had no idea she wanted to fly helicopters. Well, she certainly has found the perfect outlet for her love of aviation, without ever having to leave "the surly bonds of earth.".
  • Derek paterson wrote on Aug 01 2014 AT 1:56 PM

    Very interesting reading indeed. I work in Airside Operations at Glasgow International Airport and can relate to the very diverse, challenging and ultimately, fantastic/ fulfilling role, that Elise alluded to. As a general enquiry, how often do roles within this particular discipline arise? Further more, how challenging is it for non natives to secure employment at YYR airport please. Many thanks in advance.
  • YVR Airport wrote on Aug 01 2014 AT 2:32 PM

    Hi guys!

    For info on careers at yvr visit

    Thanks for reading!
  • Claudia wrote on Jan 18 2015 AT 1:10 PM

    I had about an hour to kill with my niece and nephews at the airropt one afternoon. We walked over to Chester Johnson Park, the triangle of evergreens near international arrivals. Ponds, pine cones, trails, totems, it was great!
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