Meet Marcel, Director Aviation Africa at NACO

Marcel is originally from the Netherlands and has been living in South Africa for over 10 years. He has a background in mechanical engineering & industrial design and a specialization in finance & investment. Moreover, he studied in England which was a great experience. After a while, Marcel ended up in South Africa. Aviation was not unknown to him, as an airport systems engineer he already learnt a lot about the industry. When he made the move to NACO, there was an opportunity to expand the team in South Africa. Marcel grabbed this with both hands. Curious to know more about Marcel’s role and his passions working at NACO? Then keep on reading!
marcel langeslag

Everyone gets the opportunity to foster client relationships, get involved with thought leadership and visit conferences and events to connect, learn and be inspired.

Marcel LangeslagDirector Aviation Africa at NACO

Different opportunities over time

“I first started as a project manager, which gave me the opportunity to work on many different projects in civil engineering, systems engineering and terminal building design, for example. I was also involved in business development, growing our footprint on the African continent. Later I became the associate director of the team in South Africa. After about 4 years I shifted to another role that now allows me to deal with master planning and consultancy projects.

Nowadays, I still carry responsibility for business development which I really enjoy. Personally, I see NACO integrates everyone in business development activities. Everyone gets the opportunity to foster client relationships, get involved with thought leadership and visit conferences and events to connect, learn and be inspired. This has given me a tailor-made path that matches my interests, ambitions and what suits the team. Each time I got different responsibilities which has been nice for my development because I can be in control of my self-development in the organisation.”

NACO in South Africa

“Right after my studies, I had already worked in South Africa for several years. Because of this, I knew the country and its people. It is a very nice place to live and that is also why I wanted to return here. It was perfect timing that NACO was also looking for a colleague in the South Africa team at that time. Within NACO there are around 200 employees worldwide. At the NACO team in South Africa there are around 20 employees. This is a smaller and more intimate team with colleagues based mostly in Johannesburg, and a few in Durban and Cape Town. Here we work a lot on projects with the team in the Netherlands.

Our projects are everywhere, meaning from South Africa we work worldwide. For example, our team is involved in an airport upgrade in Qatar and we also design runway lighting at Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands. We have projects in Africa such as the new Cape Winelands Airport, located close to Cape Town. Then, the team in the Netherlands collaborates with us. Thus, we are well integrated into NACO.”

A dynamic and unique work atmosphere

“One of the first projects I worked on was the rehabilitation and upgrade of Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania. This was an interesting project in a great location. The team in South Africa worked on the civil design with extensions of taxiways and aircraft parking areas for example. The terminal building was also expanded and this was designed by the team in the Netherlands. I was the project manager who brought these two parts together including contact with the client and local partners. It was very nice to work with a lot of colleagues from different countries for a client from yet another country. This creates a unique and complex dynamic to apply our worldwide knowledge in the best way for local clients.”

A passion for aviation

“There is a very nice working atmosphere in our team. I notice that in my field of work everyone is enthusiastic about the profession and therefore we share a common passion. The international character also makes it very enjoyable. We work with colleagues all over the world with different nationalities. Also, the opportunity to travel is great! You make wonderful memories with colleagues which strengthens your connections.”

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