The RIC community has all sorts of wonderful stories and tremendous people who report to work here each day. One of those people is Sasha, an Equipment Operator III in the Airport’s Utilities and Grounds department. She’s spent 10 years with the Capital Region Airport Commission and worked her way up to the position of supervisor. Prior to joining the Commission Sasha spent 5 years with Delta Global Service as an airline ramp agent.
Sasha currently directs and supervises a crew of equipment operators who maintain the grounds both landside and airside areas at RIC. Among the many job duties are things like grass cutting, landscaping, airfield and landside painting and striping, sweeping, trash removal, pavement repair, water line repairs, and during the winter months snow removal and glycol recovery. Sasha’s newest responsibilities include monitoring, maintaining and repairing the vast landside irrigation system that keeps the grass looking green and the airport grounds looking sharp.
Her job is demanding. The vast majority of the work performed by the Grounds department is outside so the weather can present a challenge. Sasha says, “You just have to go with the flow” although she admits she is not fond of the summer heat. In addition to the elements there are many other challenging facets of the job. Equipment Operators must train and be familiar with a number of pieces of equipment from lawn mowers and tractors, to dump trucks and excavators, to heavy equipment like snow plows, brooms, and blowers. Quite often equipment is operated in congested areas and in the vicinity of aircraft. Sasha and her team are required to be completely familiar with the airfield and are authorized and trained to communicate with the FAA Control Tower in order to move around the runways, taxiways and aprons at RIC.
When asked what she likes about working at RIC she says, “I like everything. The people, the environment, every day is different.” Sasha admits that being a woman in a predominantly male profession was a bit challenging at first but she said once she built a rapport with “the guys” it was no big deal. She appreciates and enjoys taking on new challenges, learning new things, and working in a fast-paced environment. To sum it up Sasha says, “RIC just feels like home.” Despite the fact that COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on air travel and passenger traffic at the Airport she is convinced we just need to be patient. “It will pick back up,” she says with a smile.
She takes pride in being a “Springer”, having graduated from Highland Springs High School. Outside of work Sasha’s passions include shopping, taking cruises, and she’s become an avid bowler with an “almost 150” average. Over the course of 15 years at RIC she has come to know many of the people who call RIC their “work home”. If you don’t know Sasha from the Grounds department give her a wave the next time you see her. She’ll likely respond with her winning smile and a wave as she scoots off to her next assignment.
Thank you Sasha for all you do and making a positive difference at RIC in so many ways!