People of Georgian: Aviation alumni leads COVID-19 response at airport
November 13, 2020

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Our Georgian College community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives, and we’re sharing different ones each week.

People of Georgian: Meet Chantal Urquidi

Never in a million years did I think I would be handling a COVID-19 response at an airport.

I never would’ve thought that a pandemic would happen; it was the last thing in my mind.

Person holding up a magazine smiles at the camera.
Chantal was recently named to Business London Magazine’s Twenty In Their 20s.

At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a little bit of denial and confusion not knowing what’s ahead of us and having conflicting information from the media.

It was difficult, especially in the early stages. Guidance materials weren’t as developed as they are now.

Trying to navigate something that’s brand new, even to the world’s top specialists, is really hard when it comes to making policies.

But we’re at a point now where we have explored different scenarios, and we’re better equipped to handle the pandemic and rapidly adapt to instructions from health-care authorities.

This was a combination of a lot of things – training, education, having to stock up on supplies really quickly, having emergency meetings often. It’s an ongoing process.

It has been a good opportunity to connect with our employees and sit and talk through problems that we never thought we’d have at the airport.

These days, the airport is very quiet. It’s unusual.

The airport is a ‘very special place’

What got me into airports was the dynamic of it – how it constantly changes, how something’s always on the go.

When you see people travelling through airports it’s because they must have a very, very good reason to do that.

Maybe they’re immigrating to another country, starting their lives all over, or going on that dream vacation.

For me, the airport’s a very special place.

Chantal Urquidi, alumna from Georgian’s Aviation Management program (Class of 2017) and Health, Safety & Environmental Officer at the London International Airport in London, Ont.

Born in Canada, Chantal later moved to Bolivia and Poland before moving back to Canada to attend Georgian.

Chantal was recently named to Business London’s Twenty in their 20’s for her work leading the airport’s COVID-19 response as well as the airport’s efforts to reach Level 1 in the Airport Carbon Accreditation Program. Now part of this global program, the airport will work to lowers it carbon dioxide emissions.

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