Airports and airlines could not function without the help of those employees who provide ground support. Ground support jobs are diverse and reflect the many tasks necessary to keep an airplane flying and on time. Some ground support jobs are focused on passengers, providing them with customer service in an effort to keep their business and generate ongoing income for the airline. These jobs include airline informational representatives and gate agents. Many ground support jobs are behind-the-scenes and passengers may never even be aware of them. Examples are cargo handlers and service people who clean the aircraft between flights, ensuring that the aircraft is spotless and ready for the next group of passengers.
Not all ground support jobs are hired through the airlines, however, including aircraft fuelers who are usually hired by the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) or fueling company located at the airport. Contractors who have agreements in place with an airlines or airport to provide certain services hire many ground support people. Contractors may be responsible for the catering or food service for airline employees, or they may prepare and package the meals that airlines serve in flight.
Ground support jobs are often great for those who have little formal education or advanced degrees. The pay may be very good, but the work can be physical and require weekend, holiday, and night shifts. Because airlines operate around the clock, they need ground support people to work at all hours throughout the year, regardless of weather or if it’s a holiday. Many ground support jobs offer fantastic benefits, especially those that are hired through an airlines, and they may include paid vacation, free or reduced air travel, retirement plans, and insurance.