Today is Father’s Day. First of all I would like to wish all fathers a Happy Father’s Day! Last week, I shared with you the story of Drain Chargeman Mr KOO Wai-ming of the Drainage Services Department. This week we have another frontline colleague, Mr CHUI Chi-kit, also a good father, who works behind the scenes in our bustling airport. Mr CHUI is an Assistant Electrical Inspector of the Airfield Facilities Section of the Airport and Vehicle Engineering Division (AVED) under the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of landing and runway lights at the Hong Kong International Airport. He performs shift duty around the clock to ensure the proper functioning of the lighting systems, which are extremely important to aircrafts during takeoff and landing.
EMSD’s services touch every aspect of the public’s daily life. For example, its AVED provides a comprehensive range of engineering and consultancy services related to repair and maintenance works for the Airport Authority (AA), involving such key facilities as the airfield ground lighting and infrastructure power network, general pumping systems and the wastewater treatment plant. EMSD also provides operation and maintenance services for the electrical and mechanical (E&M) systems and facilities of Civil Aviation Department and more than ten other government departments at the airport, such as Customs and Excise Department’s X-Ray baggage inspection system, Immigration Department’s mobile radio handsets, and Government Flying Service’s specialised E&M systems.
Racing against time to complete the mission
Starting out as a technician apprentice of EMSD, Mr CHUI Chi-kit graduated in 1999. He has rich E&M knowledge and skills and has worked at the airport for more than ten years. He said that there are currently 13,000 landing and runway lights on the airport runways, taxiways and aprons, which provide visual aid critical for pilots to take off and land with a clear vision of the runways at night and during periods of low visibility and inclement weather conditions. He and his colleagues work shifts around the clock to ensure the facilities are functioning properly. Their prompt action is needed to fix the problems immediately and they will lose no time in handling emergency situations, even in the small hours of the morning or in rainstorms.
Given the very frequent flight movements, they have to race against time to complete their work on the runways in a very short time. While they quickly carry out inspections and repairs, they also need to pay attention to the radio instructions given by the control tower to ensure that the on-site environment is safe to work in. It is all about personal experience, concentration and co-operation among colleagues. Mr CHUI recalled that when Typhoon Hato hit Hong Kong last year bringing strong winds and heavy rains, outdoor facilities were more likely to break down than usual. Under the circumstances, he and his colleagues, along with staff of the AA, had to carry out their work dutifully and be ready to handle all kinds of emergency incidents anytime. They are also aware of the importance of safety at work in times of inclement weather. Mr CHUI said that the department has provided them with guidelines on work safety. They will receive thunderstorm and lightning alerts and there are safe areas at the aprons for the maintenance personnel to take temporary shelter to ensure the safety of frontline staff.
Saying “No” to being a “helicopter parent”
As a young father, Mr CHUI admitted that he is still at the learning stage. As he works irregular hours, he treasures every moment he spends with his son on his days off. His son is only four years old, but Mr CHUI hopes that he will, as a grown-up, understand some basic moral principles, such as having a sense of responsibility towards self and others, as well as working hard at school and at work. He said that he has no intention of becoming a “helicopter parent” and does not want to put his son under too much pressure. Having said that, he sets a high standard for his son’s character, hoping to teach him good virtues and politeness at an early age. He would like to be his son’s “close friend” and solve problems together with him on his life journey.
The E&M industry offers myriad career choices. As fate has put him to work in the airport, Mr CHUI particularly feels the great responsibility of his work as it is related to aviation safety. Whenever he travels with his family by air, he especially tells his son about his work at the airport and hopes that he will develop a keen interest in aeroplanes and airports unconsciously.
Keen demand for E&M talent
E&M facilities are found throughout Hong Kong and are closely related to our daily lives. In addition, the development of large-scale infrastructure as well as housing and railway projects also helps the E&M industry grow steadily with a keen demand for E&M talent. I encourage more young people to join the E&M industry. Since the launch of the “Apprentice Training Scheme” (now named “Technician Training Scheme”) in 1955, EMSD has successfully nurtured more than 6,000 professional technicians. Among them, many have become professionals or been promoted to the management level through continuous education and accumulation of work experience. Mr CHUI is one of the examples.
For two weeks in a row, I have shared with you the work duties of two colleagues and their role as a father. I hope that you now have more understanding of the different types of frontline jobs in government departments. As today is Father’s Day, let us show our respect and care for all hard-working fathers.
17 June, 2018Back