Aviation Sector Overview

Posted by Stuart Hackett on Monday, July 23, 2018

Sector Focus - Aviation

Aviation Sector Overview

I’ve always felt that major airport projects hold a certain prestige within the construction industry. Expatriate construction professionals have been spoilt for choice on such projects within the International marketplace over recent years.

Maxim Recruitment have been fortunate to work with many airport authorities, consultancy firms and main contractors on major international airport projects around the globe over the last 13 years.

In the Middle East we’ve been particularly blessed with exciting roles on Dubai International Airport, Al Maktoum Airport (Jebel Ali Airport), The New Doha International Airport (NDIA) and Muscat International Airport.

Whilst in the Far East, it has been the Hong Kong International Airport that has seen considerable work over recent years.

Whilst the major work on many of the above projects has been completed or slowed down in recent years, many of these airports have expansion plans that will see minor works and general improvements being made to them on a regular basis going forward.

However as we look to more recent news, there’s some new major airport schemes on the horizon for everyone to get excited about.

Current & Upcoming Airport Projects

Major projects within the Aviation sector continue to be announced on a regular basis. Such projects tend to be both high in value and complexity. Here are just a few of the more exciting current & upcoming projects within the sector:

Toronto Pearson International Airport (Canada):

Plans to carry out a 5 year, CA$2.1 Bn programme of works comprising of an extension to their Terminal 3 building, a new build extension to Terminal 1 as well as all associated infrastructure upgrades to cope with the expected increase in passengers.

Hong Kong International Airport (Hong Kong):

Enabling and land reclamation works are finally getting underway on Hong Kong International Airport’s new 3rd runway project. This development is an exciting new upgrade comprising of a new 3,800m long runway with associated aprons and taxiways, a new terminal concourse building and a new baggage handling system being implemented.

Vancouver International Airport (Canada):

Recently announced that work had begun on a 2 year, CA$9 Bn expansion programme. The expansion includes significant upgrades to the current domestic and international terminal buildings. Going with a centralised expansion design, this will mean one interconnected terminal building for all passengers with a new integrated baggage system.

Western Sydney Airport (Australia):

Is planned to begin construction this year and when completed will become Sydney’s 2nd airport. It will be constructed over 3 phrases with an expected completion date of 2026 at a cost of circa US$4 Bn.

Heathrow International Airport:

Plans seem all set to go ahead with the £14Bn 3rd Runway extension to Heathrow Airport. The expansion will see a new Terminal 6 to be built as well as expansions to Terminal 2. All with the unique and complex issue of building the runway over the busy M25 motorway.

Specific Vacancies

When it comes to specific aviation vacancies, we find ourselves currently busy recruiting for senior Programme Management roles on Canada’s busiest airport – Toronto Pearson International Airport.

With the airport looking to deliver a programme of work valued at $2.1Bn CAD, the airport is seeking construction professionals capable of working at a strategic level who have previous experience on major airport projects around the World.

Specific Aviation Vacancies Include:

Program Director- Airport Baggage Handling (Toronto, Canada) https://www.maximrecruitment.com/program-director-airport-baggage-handling-job-toronto-canada-8547

Program Director – Airport Building Refurbishment (Toronto, Canada)


Program Director – Airport Building Construction (Toronto, Canada)


Program Director – Airport Infrastructure Development (Toronto, Canada)


MEP Quantity Surveyor – Airport Services (Dubai, UAE)


All vacancies relating to aviation can be found and refined at:


Transferable Skills

Construction professionals that have worked on recent major international airport projects should find that their experience is well sought after on future international airports. In fact, we’ve had clients recently ask us to find candidate who have worked on particular airport projects due to the similarities between the two developments.


Salaries within airports do not seem to carry and particular premium as some sectors do such as Building Services or Oil & Gas for example. However for candidates who have specialised in working on airport projects, you could potentially see a small increase in your salary compared to those little to no experience within this sector.

The biggest issue we are seeing relating to salaries is actually a negative for those currently working in the tax free haven of the Middle East.

With much of the new work within the Aviation sector coming up outside the Middle East, we’re seeing many candidates who have been involved in the various Middle East airports looking to relocate to other parts of the World.

Those candidates coming from the tax free environment will need to be prepared to take a drop in earnings to work in the likes of Canada, UK, Hong Kong or Australia where moderate levels of tax apply and basic salaries are generally comparable to the Middle East.

Several of these countries may not offer expatriate packages including accommodation also, something that those working in the Middle East will have been used to receiving.


With global passenger numbers rising year on year, the aviation sector looks to be one of the more exciting and secure sectors within the global construction industry going forward.

The Middle East states such as the UAE and Qatar seem determined to invest heavily in their airports to attract tourism, as well as marketing themselves as a connection point for passengers on long haul flights. I expect to see a constant flow of work on the region’s major airports for years to come.

Whilst other International Airports are taking a more reactive approach to their developments and being forced to upgrade due to rising passenger numbers.

With the number of global passengers per year rising at a rapid rate and set to top 4 billion passengers in 2018, I believe most major cities around the World will be assessing whether their aviation infrastructure has the necessary capacity to cope with growing passenger numbers forecast for the future.

For this reason, I believe you will continue to see major airport upgrades announced on a regular basis into to the future. What exciting projects these are to be involved in too! Often valued in the Billions of Dollars and embracing the most up-to-date technological advances available, airports can be some of the most exciting and rewarding projects to be involved on in all of the construction industry.

To talk to us about opportunities in the Aviation sector, please send us your CV today.

About the author

Stuart Hackett

Senior Recruitment Consultant, UK

I am based from the Maxim Recruitment head office in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.  With over 10 years’ experience at Maxim, I have experience of recruiting quantity surveyors, commercial managers, project managers and a variety of other professional and technical engineering and construction roles across the UK, Middle East and in other international locations.

Latest UK Quantity Surveying Jobs: https://www.maximrecruitment.com/quantity-surveyor-jobs-uk 
Email: stuart@maximrecruitment.com