Faces of YWG: Andrew Curwain

Faces of YWG is a special profile series on the people around the YWG campus that help us go above and beyond. Today we profile Andrew Curwain - read on below.

“Working as an engineer at the airport is exciting and rewarding. I’m involved in every type of project: from airfield pavement and parking structures to new buildings and incoming tenant work, it’s all important. I’m also involved in fitting out new concessions inside the terminal and new assemblies going up around the airport campus.

The key to our airport work is the civil infrastructure – that’s what keeps the planes moving and the airport running. That’s the runways, the taxiways and aprons. The infrastructure team and I are responsible for the runway conditions that bring everyone a smooth landing, accommodate increased traffic, enhance the drainage and provide the airfield lighting; in short, we make sure the pavement is suitable for ongoing aircraft ops. This means our travellers can keep on travelling.

Over my 16 years here, I’ve been in eight different positions. I started as a summer student and it timed out just as we launched the airport site redevelopment project – the group that would oversee the new terminal work – so I was able to hop over to ASR and work on the project there.

ASR was a huge project; the biggest individual project that I’ve worked on in my career thus far. It was fundamental in terms of new experiences – the consulting, the scale, the engineering and design that all went into paved the way for helping me grow. It showed me the diversity of the field.

As airport site redevelopment took place over the better part of a decade and then wound down, I went on to work at WAA in operations as the Operations Specialist for two years. Eventually, an opening in engineering occurred, and over the years I eventually attained my current role, Senior Project Engineer. In short, I’ve seen a lot of different aspects of this airport in my time here.

I like seeing the earth move. Projects like the apron expansion I worked on two years ago are great because not only do they stand the test of time, but they also help our city and airport prosper. A big project I’m currently overseeing – the runway rehabilitation this summer – is the third runway job I’ve been a part of. It’s a massive scale construction job; we don’t have the load restrictions that standard road work would, either. It’s one of the biggest construction projects in the province this year by tonnage of asphalt.

We’ve got the biggest land bridge in the province, we’ve got the terminal and we’ve got a significant amount of paving. The work is entirely connected because it helps each passenger, each plane, and each freighter get where they need to go. As we continue to grow and increase our workload, it’ll benefit everyone using the airport, whether that’s once a year or once a week.

I started here with the old terminal. It was simple, but efficient for its purpose. The new terminal, though, is such a step up in quality, capacity, effectiveness and functionality that it’s amazing. It’s growing ahead of the forecast and we’re ahead of schedule, partially because we have the infrastructure to do so.

Down the road, we’re looking at expansion of the airport, aprons, and runways – and I wouldn’t be surprised to eventually see the terminal. It’s definitely an exciting time to be an engineer here, and I don’t see that stopping any time soon.

I’m Andrew Curwain, and I’m the Senior Project Engineer at Winnipeg Airports Authority.”

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