Thomas Stöcklin (Head of Maintenance Control Center)
This is where all the action comes together: at the Maintenance Control Center (MCC). The MCC is the main contact point for our SWISS pilots, flight operations and the technical department in regard to any technical matter that may occur. The cockpit crews contact us either during a flight or on ground (upon arrival / before departure). If an outstation engineer, somewhere at a destination worldwide seeks additional technical advice, we are also ready to support him.
The MCC is open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, with two MCC controllers on duty on every early and late shift. In addition to that, there are two to three troubleshooters working between 05:30 and 24:00 every day.
In 1993, I started my career as an aircraft engineer and continued working for Crossair in the Base and Line Maintenance Department. During that period I was able to participate as a flight engineer on a VIP charter flight operated with an MD-83, during which I was responsible for a smooth operation from the technical point of view. We visited countries like Jordan, the Seychelles, Zanzibar, Mauritius, La Reunion and Madagascar, which turned my work into a very special event. As an example, after arrival at La Reunion, there was no tow-bar available to push the aircraft away from the airport dock. Two pilots, one flight attendant and I had to manually push-back the aircraft from its position! Once having parked the airplane, we were told to move it again; luckily we had the French army assisting the exhausted crew for the second time. Overall it was a great experience, flying to foreign airports with no maintenance support and having no idea of what to expect and improvising on the spot.
In 2002, while I was working as a troubleshooter, I was asked to accept a new position as a MCC controller due to restructuring of the department. I had to make a decision and start the job four days later! Although I could never imagine doing such work, I accepted the position the same day and enjoyed an interesting and exciting training to become a Maintenance Controller. By the end of 2007, our former supervisor left the company for a new challenge and offered me the opportunity to lead the department until his successor was nominated. Being one of the “youngsters”, I felt it was a big challenge and finally, after an exhausting jogging lap along a colourful autumn forest, I accepted the offer. I am glad I did and ever since moving to MCC I have really enjoyed working with a great team. No two days are the same.