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Employee Story: Paul Newton – Special Loads Officer

10 May 2023


Paul, what is your role within Magma Aviation?

I am Magma Aviation’s Special Loads Officer. I am here to look after loads that cannot go in the standard cargo hold.

What does a Special Loads Officer do?

My primary responsibility is to provide advice to clients regarding special loads, including:

  • Machinery
  • Oversized items
  • Unique items
  • Regulations, for example, measurements and positioning

One of the most important aspects of my role is ensuring the safety and security of the aircraft and its crew, both on the ground and during flight. I often supervise cargo builds and the process of loading and off-loading to ensure everything runs according to plan and safely.

When a request comes through from the website, I review the information and decide whether this cargo can be loaded safely and securely. I then send the client a report. After that, I allocate the load to a particular flight. The operations team will liaise with the client directly from then on.

So tell us about what inspired you to have a career in Aviation.

As a child, I loved aircraft and wanted to be a pilot. Then when I was 18, I managed to get a position as a ramp baggage agent, which was a great opportunity. From there, I worked hard, taking courses and planning how I wanted my career to develop. I love the aviation industry, and I am lucky I get to do something I enjoy.

So, with so many years within the industry, you must have a favourite aircraft.

Yes, my favourite aircraft is a B737-800. I have flown one on a simulator several times and for me, I think it is the best!

Can you tell me about an achievement that you are most proud of?

Honestly, from a personal perspective, I am very proud of my career to date, there are always bumps in the road, but when I look back to where I started to where I am now, I am immensely proud.

From a professional side, I would say for the past eight months, I have been based in Porto, managing Magma Aviation’s operation from there, and it has been such a success. We started with two flights, and that has grown to thirteen. I have built great relationships with customers during this time; I am very proud of that.

Can you tell us about a favourite operation that you have worked on?

During my career, I have seen all sorts of things loaded, but my favourite is cars. I love cars, and I have in my career had the chance to work on loading Formula 1 cars and even got to drive the track safety cars. Also, when I have worked on the loading of supercars, I always feel pride knowing that customers trust me with their expensive cars. Knowing they have arrived safely and securely is a great feeling.

When you are not working, what do you like to do?

Spend time with my family. I am away a lot with work, so spending time with my two children is really important. I don’t want to miss them growing up, so I am there as much as possible when I am home.

How would you advise people looking for a career as a Special Loads Officer?

Firstly, I would say passion for the industry is very important. The hours can be long, and things never stay the same, so you need to be adaptable. 

Secondly, look at the skills required and jump on any opportunity to go on courses that will help you navigate your way to where you want to be. Take chances to gain experience. Lastly, set goals and targets to keep you on track.


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