On a hot summer day last month, not long before the start of school, more than 20 employees at the GE Aerospace On Wing Support Center in Doha brought their children to experience the facility’s first “Take Your Child to Work Day.”
The event replaced the usual whirring sounds of aircraft engine maintenance with the shouts and laughter of 30 jubilant kids. The children of technicians, tooling and materials specialists, and the commercial team were all in awe of their first close-up brush with aircraft engines, a key piece of the magic that enables flight.
During the event, the youngsters had an opportunity to see where their parents worked and, perhaps more importantly, they were able to touch and peer inside a real aircraft engine. Although the children did not visit the actual workshop where the engines are serviced, they were able to visit the life-size engines in the center’s training area. From the safety of the viewing platforms, the children could touch and see the engines their parents spend their days working on.
“For many hours of the day, these parents are here at the center working, and their kids are curious about what they do,” explained Shirine Kabbani, Office Manager for the On Wing Support operations in Doha. “We thought, ‘What better way to help them see what their parents are doing than by bringing them here?’”
The event was the result of a suggestion made by a new employee and reflects the collaborative, diverse, inclusive, and team-focused culture that exists at the facility. “It’s important to foster employee engagement, whether you work in the shop, in training or in support services,” said Neil Turner, Regional Business Leader On Wing Support – Dubai & Doha, with GE Aerospace. “Feeling and working together as one team is so important to our success, whether we are serving customers or contributing to Qatar’s development.”
The children’s ages ranged from as young as seven months to 18 years old. When one of the children was asked if he enjoyed visiting the center where his father works, the boy said, “Yes! Because this is where my dad helps people fly home to see their families.”
“Comments like these from the kids during the event show us that their parents are talking to them about what they do at GE Aerospace, where our purpose is help fly people and goods safely around the world. On this day, we gave the children a chance to see how they do this,” said Shirine.
The On Wing Support (OWS) Center in Doha is one of seven such facilities operated by GE Aerospace around the world that provide fast-response field teams, tooling services, and quick-turn maintenance facilities. Two of these centers, in Doha and Dubai, share a common leadership and administrative team, and jointly serve some of the largest international airlines in the world that operate from Qatar and the UAE.
The Doha center also provides training facilities that are used by GE Aerospace and customer technicians learning to service different types of engines. Over 750 Qatar Airways employees have been trained in engine maintenance and 3,000 students from 50+ global airlines have participated in various courses at the facility.
Located in the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), the OWS center in Doha has a team of 25 technicians. Currently they service primarily GEnx engines for Qatar Airways and airlines across the region. Increasingly, the shop will also service the growing regional fleet of LEAP engines, which are produced by CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines.
“Our slogan is ‘My team, my shop.’ Everyone here takes pride in the work we do,” Shirine said.
Read more here about how GE Aerospace supports diversity and inclusion, delivers for customers across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkiye region.