The Line person at a general aviation facility has a lot more contact with the public than does someone who performs similar functions for an airline Line persons at FBOs generally have numerous responsibilities including fueling and servicing aircraft parking aircraft wing walking marshalling aircraft safely without damage or injury loading and unloading bags and greeting passengers.
Linepersons are frequently young people who are interested in aviation and begin their aviation careers by building up experience with aircraft under the guidance of a fixed base operator. They are usually paid an hourly rate and often work part time after school hours, on weekends, and summers. With their earnings, they can fly or take up an aviation mechanic's trade.
Line service involves taking care of aircraft parking, fueling, towing. Linemen are often referred to as customer service people, since they deal strictly with corporate jets. Corporate clientele can demand more attention and you may find yourself having rental cars available, taking care of catering, putting ice and coffee aboard the airplane, or vacuuming the aircraft. A corporate jet might be transporting 15 to 18 people, and the service varies according to what the travelers need.
An airport line technician is responsible for guiding, towing, parking, greeting and organizing aircraft that's arriving or departing from an airport gate or ramp. They never pilot aircraft but they often tow planes to appropriate flight areas, gates and hangars. A line technician's job description includes requirements and experience necessary to operate aircraft towing vehicles and luggage transportation carts. A technician must also know how to direct pilots using appropriate aviation hand signals.
Maintenance and Fuel
A line technician monitors fuel levels and maintains fuel inventories to make sure aircraft have the right amount of fuel for each flight. The job description includes detail-oriented responsibilities, such as ensuring fuel trucks are stocked and prepared to distribute fuel, checking the plane's oil level, performing quality control checks to make sure fueling is handled safely and efficiently and reporting any visible damage to aircraft. Line technicians also perform light maintenance, such as making sure internal and external aircraft lights are turned off when not in use and water supplies are safely stored.
Airport line technicians help with the upkeep of terminals, hangars and airport grounds. They don't usually have janitorial responsibilities but they make sure terminals are litter-free, clean, safe and organized. Technicians also maintain aircraft hangars so planes can be parked or stored over night or for longer periods of time. During inclement weather, line technicians help maintain walkways and steps so passengers have a safe route to and from aircraft and they also help de-ice aircraft. They must immediately report suspicious activity in terminals, including unattended baggage, to security.
Part of a line technician’s job is to help with customer service needs, so strong interpersonal skills and customer service experience are a big plus. For example, line technicians often handle luggage, provide transportation between gates or terminals, give patrons directions, interact with lobby attendants, converse with pilots and greet passengers who are entering or exiting terminals. Line technicians must have a kind and friendly disposition that makes patrons feel welcome, safe and comfortable with the airport facilities, staff and aircraft.
Typical Requirements and/or Experience
An interest in aviation with the ability to meet the demands and effectively communicate with corporate clientele. Good attendance, punctuality and the willingness to learn and keep customers happy. Most require that you are able to work a flexible schedule.
Line and ramp personnel at an FBO are entry level positions and are generally young people with an interest in aviation. Basic math and reading skills are essential to success.
Opportunities for Advancement
The lineperson's job is an important basic career development step and can lead to many aviation careers. It can lead to careers in airport administration, fixed base operation, aviation mechanics, air traffic control, and professional flying.