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The Hoggett Bowers 2 Minute Interview: Chris Tingle

Chris Tingle headshot

What have been some of the key learnings for you since the UK fully re-opening over the summer?

It has been great to see some people taking holidays abroad this summer but we haven’t yet seen a full re-opening of aviation as passenger volumes are still significantly down on 2019 levels. The situation is improving but unfortunately the recovery of aviation from the pandemic is going to take time.

I have enjoyed returning to work in the office 1 or 2 days a week. It has been great to reconnect with colleagues in person and my wellbeing has benefited from not having to work from home all the time.

From a personal perspective, I have realised how much I missed Parkrun and am delighted it has re-started on Saturday mornings.

As we move forward from the pandemic and look to the future, what business opportunity most excites you?

The CAA recently became the UK’s regulator for Space. It is exciting to consider the opportunities that Space offers for the UK economy as well as the other new technologies being introduced into Aviation such as sustainable fuels and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (drones).

Given the important part that technology has played in all sectors during the pandemic, how do you envisage technology developing in your organisation going forward?

Like most organisations, we are seeking to make further improvements so that our colleagues are better equipped with hardware and software for a hybrid working environment. Digitalisation of our operating processes remains a key focus so that we can eliminate the need for paper licensing applications and for certain roles to be physically based in the office.

With sustainability and ESG being more prevalent on the Board agenda, what is your business doing to meet net zero carbon emission targets by 2050, if not earlier?

Sustainability is the main topic for the CAA Board meeting this month. The Department for Transport recently published a consultation document “Jet zero: our strategy for net zero aviation” and the CAA are working closely with the Department for Transport to agree how we can support this.

How has your business changed in its approach to employee wellbeing during the pandemic and what will it continue to do more of in the future?

We have placed even more focus during the pandemic on communications, with regular team meetings and 121s with colleagues. Like most organisations we are moving to ‘hybrid working’ where we balance the needs of the business with our colleagues’ preferences for home working. There won’t be one standard solution for everyone as some individuals are keen to return to the office and others have adjusted well to working from home. Overall, I expect the working environment for the CAA and myself personally will be very different to the pre-pandemic situation and hopefully an improvement for employee wellbeing.

Who or what has inspired you recently? (They don’t need to be famous)

For the first time in over 30 years of driving my car broke down last week. I had a 5 hour wait for a recovery truck to finally arrive at 11pm and then a 3 hour journey home. The driver was a complete star and was thoroughly committed to getting me home safely. We had an interesting conversation driving along and he explained how he had left the army several years ago and didn’t really know what to do next. He’d tried a few jobs before eventually becoming a breakdown truck driver and I could see how perfectly suited he was to the challenges of the role. What inspired me was his authentic approach to customer service and the professional pride he took in doing his job well.

Hopefully you managed to have break over the summer, either abroad or a ‘stay cation’ – what was the highlight?  

I had a stay cation with a ‘Tour of the North’ starting in Liverpool and travelling via the Yorkshire Dales to visit my family and friends in Hull. It was a relaxing time and I appreciated the culture and beautiful countryside the North has to offer. The highlight was hiking up Whernside on a dry, sunny day with my teenage daughter.

Which book have you read recently and why would you recommend it?

I am a keen gardener and enjoyed Monty Don’s ‘Down to Earth’. It is full of gardening advice, but also offers great insights into how to improve your quality of life.

What are you most looking forward to doing in 2022?

Flying abroad on holiday.