Drivers are found in many areas of the aviation industry. They operate various airfield vehicles such as food trucks, power carts, ramp stand, employee buses, conveyors, cleaning equipment, fuel trucks, and other equipment. The vehicle often tows equipment to and from the aircraft. At the aircraft, the driver is often responsible for operating machinery necessary to get the job done. Drivers are responsible for checking and maintaining the vehicle’s fluid system, and are expected to immediately report any problems with the vehicle’s operation including brakes, lights, and emergency equipment. Some drivers have regularly scheduled stops, while others make deliveries or pickups on an as-needed basis. When driving on the airport apron or taxiways, the driver must communicate with Ground Control at all times and follow their instructions in order to eliminate the possibility of colliding with an aircraft or other vehicles.
Working in the airline industry is exciting, and many enjoy working behind the scenes.
Drivers have to work outside regardless of the weather and dealing with poor road conditions. As part of the job, most drivers have to load and unload their vehicle and this can involve heavy lifting. They will have to work quickly and efficiently. Aircraft engines are notoriously loud and drivers in the vicinity are subject to hearing excessive noise. For security reasons the drivers must wear a uniform. Because airplanes operate around the clock, deliveries are needed at all hours of the day and night, on weekends and holidays. There are strict rules in place for the operation of vehicles when near aircraft, on the airport apron or taxiways. Radio communication with Ground Control is required.
The ability to perform heavy lifting, and a basic mechanical knowledge of vehicles is necessary. Good communication skills are also necessary.
High school diploma or equivalent. Drivers usually must be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. They may also have to pass written and practical test to show that they are capable of driving and operating the vehicle in a safe manner.
Most driver training is done on the job and may include the operation and maintenance of the vehicle, routes, delivery procedures, and more.
Salary and Benefits
Pay ranges from $15.00-$18.00 per hour. Benefits may include paid vacation, dental and life insurance, sick leave, retirement plan, free or reduced airfare for employees and immediate family members.