Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - CHRISTMAS -

ON an av­er­age day, Perth Air­port ter­mi­nal duty man­ager Dani Linch will as­sist thou­sands of pas­sen­gers – in­clud­ing those who have im­bibed a lit­tle too much – air­line crew, se­cu­rity staff and keep track of bag­gage, yet there’s noth­ing she’d rather do, even on Christ­mas Day.

She first fell in love with travel and planes as a child grow­ing up on a cat­tle farm in the Wheat­belt town of Badgin­garra, about 200km north of Perth.

“I would get so ex­cited watch­ing them fly over­head while I was rid­ing my horse across the pad­dock,” she said.

Her plane ob­ses­sion led to a love of travel and she went to Tafe to study a Diploma of Tourism.

Ms Linch has worked at Perth Air­port for 16 years, her first job with ground han­dling com­pa­nies, then as an air­line check-in agent, be­fore be­ing hired by the air­port op­er­a­tor.

As a ter­mi­nal duty man­ager, she is re­spon­si­ble for en­sur­ing Perth Air­port runs safely and ef­fi­ciently with­out pas­sen­gers even be­ing aware of the ef­fort that goes into ev­ery de­tail.

In one 12-hour shift, Ms Linch can walk up to 24km as she over­sees air­port op­er­a­tions, which can in­volve any­thing from en­sur­ing the small­est piece of rub­bish is re­moved through to han­dling med­i­cal emer­gen­cies.

“All duty man­agers re­ceive fire and first-aid train­ing,” she said.

“My big­gest emer­gency was a man who suf­fered car­diac ar­rest. I had to use a de­fib­ril­la­tor and ad­min­is­ter CPR.”

“It was the most dif­fi­cult thing I’ve had to do.”

As she talked, it be­came clear Ms Linch cares im­mensely for her cus­tomers and co-work­ers alike.

That morn­ing, se­cu­rity had con­fis­cated a pocket knife from a man’s hand lug­gage.

“He came back down to me and he was cry­ing, he didn’t re­alise he’d had it,” she said.

“He was re­ally up­set and it turned out his wife had died two months ago and she’d given him the knife.”

Con­fis­cated items are usu­ally ir­re­triev­able as it’s air­port pol­icy they be de­stroyed.

But Ms Linch went down to se­cu­rity and rum­maged through the pile of goods un­til she found the man’s knife.

“That small thing made his day,” she said.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d462857

Ter­mi­nal duty man­ager Dani Linch plays a vital role in keep­ing Perth Air­port run­ning smoothly.

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