Belfast Telegraph

'Listen to your instincts'

Q: What's the best piece of business (or life) advice you've ever been given?

A: If something doesn't look right or feel right, then listen to your instincts.

Q: What piece of advice would you give someone starting out in business?

A: Listen to the ones who have experience and knowledge. They will help you avoid making the mistakes they made when they were setting out.

Q: What was your best business decision?

A: Joining Woodgate Aviation. The work is varied and cuts across every discipline in aviation, from aircraft maintenance and refuelling to looking after private jets worth millions.

Q: If you weren't doing this job, what would you be?

A: A pilot.

Q: What was your last holiday? Where are you going next?

A: Florida with Virgin Atlantic direct from Belfast International Airport. South of Spain for some family time.

Q: What is your favourite sport and team?

A: Motorsport, both local road racing and F1 (Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton).

Q: Have you ever played any sports?

A: No team sports, but running has been my main sport including half marathons on extreme trial events.

Q: If you enjoy reading, can you recommend a book?

A: I enjoy biographies. I would recommend Michael Dunlop's Road Racer - It's In My Blood. It's an eye-opening read.

Q: How would you describe your early life?

A: Action-packed. I grew up in Templepatrick and aside from studying, summers were spent on the North Coast with family and friends.

Q: Have you any economic predictions?

A: I think the road ahead is full of 'don't knows' because of Brexit. In the short term, our business prediction is good as we continue to win new business and grow. At the macro level, there might well be opportunities as well as challenges with Brexit. We'll just have to adapt to whatever comes our way. Business will always find a course, that's just the way of it.

Q: How would you assess your time with Woodgate?

A: Hectic. Woodgate has moved from small accommodations to a purpose-built hangar which is the most modern of its type in the island of Ireland. Making the transfer from where we were to where we are now wasn't without its challenges, but we succeeded and are now one of the main facilities for private hangarage, aircraft maintenance, charters, refuelling and, of course, the Northern Ireland Air Ambulance service.

Q: How do you sum up working in the aviation sector?

A: Ever-changing with no two days the same. We get calls from clients to ready an aircraft for a long-haul run to the Caribbean or France and we have to respond without delay. Similarly, if there's an urgent need for a patient transfer from here to a specialist unit in England, we have to be on the ball.

Belfast Telegraph

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