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.
Most airports with airline service employ a few trained firefighters, rescue workers and police, peace and/or security officers some of whom may be trained as emergency medical technicians or paramedics. Typically, airport firefighters are skilled in both aircraft firefighting as well as building or structural fire fighting. To meet the need for a high level of safety, most airports with airline service must maintain firefighting and rescue equipment.
Working conditions vary depending on the position. Safety personnel work in a number of non-emergency and emergency situations including aircraft rescue, medical, fire, investigating complaints, suspicious persons, responding to alarms, alleged criminal or illegal activity and causes of accidents, issues traffic and parking citations.
Due to the exposure of hazardous materials, protective clothing and safety equipment may have to be worn as mandated by OSHA.
Safety personnel are considered essential employees and are subject to being on call 24 hours a day to work in the event of an emergency. Availability to work varied hours including swing and graveyard shifts, weekends and holidays is required.
Safety personnel must react promptly and correctlyl in emergency situations.
Typical Requirements and/or Experience
Essential duties require physical skills and persons appointed to safety positions may be required to pass pre-employment physical/stress and medical examination. Employees may be required to maintain a prescrived level of physical fitness and take a physical adility/ability test to determine ability to perform work. Safety personnel must have the ability to lift 25 lbs.,work in estreme temperatures of heat or cold around noise, vibration, chemicals, flammable materials, and mechanical and electrical hazards.
A valid drivers license is neccessary since assigned duties may require the operation of motor vechicles.
Graduation from a standard high school or possession of a high school equivalency certificate. Airport firefighters must be properly trained to perform their duties and hold an Airport Firefighter Certification.
Depending on the safety position, other certificates or licenses may be required.
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 athttp://www.eeoc.gov/
Opportunities for Advancement
Aviation plays a prominent role in our economy and new opportunities will always be available. Today, larger airports are expanding and smaller "reliever" airports are being upgraded to serve general aviation traffic being relocated from congested airports. The introduction of low cost airlines is also playing a role in creating opportunities in the industry.
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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.
Recurrent training is defined as that training provided to an employee as often as necessary to enable him/her to maintain a satisfactory level of proficiency. Appropriate frequencies for recurrent training will vary widely from airport to airport and from one employee to another. Training in several areas will require coordination with airlines and other organizations on the local airport. Airport familiarization, aircraft familiarization, rescue and firefighting personnel safety, emergency communications systems on the airport.
To locate educational facilities with programs related to this position, see Avjobs Aviation School Directory. The Avjobs Aviation School Directory makes researching and finding an aviation college, university, flight school or professional training facility simple.