Volume 17
April 21, 2014

A Weekly Aviation Career
Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.

A Weekly Aviation Career Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.
 
A Weekly Aviation Career Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.
Airline Ramp Agents

Ramp Agents perform a variety of activities

If you've ever taken a commercial airplane flight, you've surely seen people driving, waving hand signals and walking alongside the airplane as it prepared to take off or while it taxied to the gate. They are ground support service workers, and the ones you're most likely to see from your window seat are specifically called ramp agents.

Airline Ramp Agent Duties
Ramp agents are responsible for all ground servicing of an aircraft while in the airport between flights. Typically, this means preparing for aircraft arrival by readying the wheel chocks, beltloaders (for unloading baggage), and various other machinery used in aircraft maintenance. When the aircraft arrives, ramp agents are responsible for guiding the pilots with hand signals or orange flashlight wands into position next to the gate. When the plane comes to a stop, ramp agents chock the wheels of the plane and guide the jetbridge (the enclosed ramp connecting the airport gate to the aircraft) to the aircraft door.

Ramp agents also perform a variety of maintenance activities, including spraying de-icing solution on the plane's wings, keeping the tarmac free of debris, and sometimes refueling and loading catering supplies, although refueling is usually handled by independent contractors.

Work Conditions
The work requires constant exposure to outdoor conditions and loud jet engines, resulting in high turnover. Most work is performed outside in all types of weather, and ear plugs are usually necessary because of aircraft engine noise. Agents sometimes must work quickly to ready a plane for departure, and weather delays can cause several flights to arrive at the same time, making for hectic schedules. Overtime work is common. Applicants should have a high school diploma or its equivalent and a valid driver's license, be able to lift heavy objects, and work well under pressure.

A Day In The Life
Cargo flights also need ground handling and our video partner provides us with a video look at a ramp crew in action, including a unique first person view of a Boeing 747 being pushed back for its engine start. 'It's just a day in the life of a ramp agent. Read more about Airline Ramp Agents at www.avjobs.com

 

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