In the United States, there are about 13,000 airports and 4,000 heliports (landing sites for helicopters). About 5,000 of these landing facilities are used by the public. It may surprise you to learn that only about 650 airports are served by airlines; most of the Nation's airports are used by general aviation pilots and their aircraft. The atmosphere at these airports is usually a lot less hectic and pressured than the environment at a major airport facility.
Some airports are owned by municipalities, states, counties, and cities. Others are operated as privately, owned businesses.
The fixed base operator employs line persons or ramp service persons who meet arriving aircraft, guide them to parking spots, assist pilots in securing their aircraft, and otherwise serve the general aviation pilots and their passengers.
One important function is reporting to the aircraft owners any signs of incipient trouble with their planes, such as fluid leaks and low tire pressure.
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.
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.
Married and unmarried men and women, with or without children are eligible. Persons who are widowed or divorced, also are eligible.
It is the policy of most aviation companies to provide equal employment opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law. Most aviation companies are strongly committed to this policy, and believe in the concept and spirit of the United States law.
Most aviation companies are committed to assuring that:
All recruiting, hiring, training, promotion, compensation, and other employment related programs are provided fairly to all persons on an equal opportunity basis without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law;
Employment decisions are based on the principles of equal opportunity and affirmative action;
All personnel actions such as compensation, benefits, transfers, training, and participation in social and recreational programs are administered without regard to race, creed, color, sex, age, national origin, disability, military and veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law, and;
Employees and applicants will not be subjected to harassment, intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination because they have exercised any right protected by law.
Most aviation companies believe in and practice equal opportunity and affirmative action. All employees are responsible for supporting the concept of equal opportunity and affirmative action and assisting the company in meeting its objectives.
Most aviation companies maintain Affirmative Action Plans for minorities, women, disabled persons and veterans.
EEOC has jurisdiction of the prohibitions against employment discrimination codified in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. These laws prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age and disability.
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) enforce the prohibitions against federal employment discrimination codified in the CSRA. The OSC will defer those bases of discrimination under EEOC's jurisdiction to the respective federal agency and its EEO process. The CSRA also prohibits employment discrimination in the federal government based on marital status, political affiliation and conduct which does not adversely affect the performance of the employee, none of which are within EEOC's jurisdiction. Moreover, the law defines ten other prohibited personnel practices in the federal government, all of which fall under the jurisdiction of the OSC and the MSPB. See Prohibited Personnel Practices at http://www.osc.gov/ppp.htm.
Additional information may also be found on the the EEOC web site located at http://www.eeoc.gov/
Wages and Benefits
Wages for line persons are paid at an hourly rate and benefits can vary. For an updated look at salaries in the aviation industry, view the Avjobs.com Salary Report.
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.
Outlook for the Future
Air travel in the U.S. grew at a rapid pace until 2001, expanding from 172 million passenger enplanements in 1970 to nearly 615 million in 2000. However, over the next 3 years, a combination of factors, the events of September 11th, 2001, an economic recession, and other factors combined to reduce traffic back to 1995 levels. After September 11, 2001, air travel was severely depressed. Nevertheless, air travel remains one of the most popular modes of transportation.
Despite a recent slowdown in passenger air travel, demographic and income trends indicate favorable conditions for leisure travel in the United States and abroad over the next decade. The aging of the population, in combination with growth of disposable income among the elderly, should increase the demand for air transportation services.
To locate educational facilities with programs related to this position, search Avjobs Aviation School Directory. The Avjobs Aviation School Directory makes researching and finding an aviation college, university, flight school or professional training facility simple.