30 Years At MIA: ‘I Wouldn’t Trade This Job For The World’

Marisa Briffa is a mother of two boys, who started her journey with MIA back in June 1992, almost 31 years ago, as one of the company’s first groups of employees. For 8 years, she worked as a Customer Services Representative before transferring to the Aerodrome Operations Unit.

“It feels like I joined the team just yesterday – I wouldn’t trade this job for the world”.

What’s your role within the Operations Department?

I would describe the Aerodrome Operations Unit as the backbone of the airport, as our team coordinates various operations, from check-in to the airfield. One of our main responsibilities is to assign parking slots and gates to all aircraft, but we’re also continuously processing all information and data regarding incoming flights, assigning baggage reclaim belts and check-in desk accordingly to ensure that all operations run smoothly.

Through a hotline, we are in constant contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) as coordination with this entity is key, particularly when flights are diverted due to a medical emergency onboard an aircraft. We also coordinate and communicate continuously with all ground handlers and aerodrome services.

Obviously, I have seen this unit develop and our work has changed drastically over the years. I still remember processing all this information manually. It’s impossible to mention all the indispensable work that our team carries out during each 12-hour shift. Time is never enough within our unit.

Throughout all these years, what would you define as your greatest achievement?

Looking back at all these years, I would say that my greatest achievement was when I got promoted to Officer. I also feel a great sense of achievement whenever we have the opportunity to work together as a team with colleagues from various departments. Mutual respect is the greatest achievement we should all aim for when working in a company such as MIA.

As a mother, on the other hand, my proudest achievement would be seeing my children grow up, studying, and building their own lives and careers.

Is there a particular woman who inspires you? How would you define an inspiring woman?

Without a shadow of doubt, I will choose my mother. My father passed away when he was just 35 years old and my mother was only 31 years old at the time. It was a very difficult period for her, but she powered through and raised me and my sister all by herself when we were only 7 and 3 years old. She was a dressmaker; I still remember her working on wedding dresses and teaching students how to sew. Eventually she rebuilt her life, and today I’m proud to say that I have a stepfather and a stepsister. To this very day, she is my greatest inspiration. In my opinion, an inspiring woman is one who never surrenders, just like my mum.

Do you think that it still makes sense to celebrate Women’s Day?

Women are very important members of our society, who are indispensable both to our families and to workplaces. Yes, given the fact that a lot needs to be done, women should be celebrated and appreciated!

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