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What Jobs Involve Working on an Airport Tarmac?

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There are numerous jobs available at airports, both in the facility and outside on the tarmac. Workers out on the airport tarmac play vital roles in the operation of aircraft, handling baggage, repairing mechanical equipment and fueling the aircraft. Without these types of workers, airports would not be able to function.

Baggage Handlers

Baggage handlers load and unload passenger baggage and mail shipments. By operating fork lifts and conveyors, baggage handlers lift the luggage and freight into the airplane's baggage compartments so the items can reach their destinations. Baggage handlers also drive baggage carts to the airport's main facility so passengers can retrieve personal luggage.

Aircraft Fuelers

Aircraft fuelers work out on the tarmac transporting fuel to aircraft. They drive a refueling truck to the aircraft, pull out a hose and nozzle and couple it to plane's fuel tank. On an average day, the fueler will perform 15 fill-ups by climbing ladders and stools to reach the plane, according to Other functions of an aircraft fueler involve transporting power carts and cleaning equipment.

Airport Operations Specialist

An airport operation specialist has job functions pertaining to the safety of aircraft and the timeliness of planes leaving from taxiways and ramp surfaces. The specialist communicates with the control tower in repositioning aircraft on the tarmac. The airport operations specialist also performs winter operations, posting current weather conditions concerning departing and arriving planes.

Aircraft Mechanics

Aircraft mechanics perform many functions on aircraft systems and on the body of the plane. The mechanic does scheduled preventive maintenance on engines, landing gears and air conditioning. Mechanics inspect and gather crucial diagnostic information on the plane's basic operations. The mechanic keeps records of the performed maintenance to evaluate continued issues concerning the aircraft.


Based in southwestern Pennsylvania, Michelle Hickman has written since 2006 on an array of topics including lifestyle, writing instruction and financial services. Her first articles appeared in "The Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Focus Magazine." She holds a certification in computer and information science from Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center.

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