The Line Service Technicians at Southwest Jet Center
Line Service Technicians are the professionals working on airport ramps to assist with aircraft movement. They juggle a wide variety of responsibilities; including staging jets on the ramp in preparation for departures and moving them cautiously into the hangars after they arrive. It is a precarious job that requires steady nerves and the ability to focus their attention on their work.
The Southwest Jet Center facility in Scottsdale has Line Service Technicians available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to direct the departing and arriving flights. During peak times, there may be as many as 3 or 4 Line Service Technicians working the ramp and hangars; however, most of the time there are 2 Line Service Technicians on duty to ensure aircraft movement operates safely. The Line Service Technicians are also responsible for fueling the jets appropriately and assisting pilots and passengers with luggage and ground transportation. A good line technician is able to concentrate his attention on the specific task at hand – especially when there is lots of activity on the ramp. Whether driving the aircraft tug to position a jet in a hangar or walking along the wing to guide the tug driver – the line service professionals must be 100% focused on the ever-changing environment on the ramp. On an average day, a Line Service Technician may be responsible to move and position $100 Million dollars in assets. Even a minor accident, called “hangar rash”, can result in extraordinarily costly repairs. As Bobby Garcia, the Line Crew Manager at Southwest Jet Center puts it, “you’ve got to have your head on a swivel at all times”.
Every day presents a fresh set of challenges for the Line Service Technicians to evaluate and solve together. Successful outcomes to the ever-changing daily situations are usually the result of working effectively with all of the other stakeholders on the ramp. “I’ve seen dramatic improvements in how jets are serviced and maintained these days”, says Cindy Mattan, Southwest Jet Center’s Office Manager with more than 10 years of experience in the private jet industry. Cindy continues, “…the sophistication of the computerized scheduling has come a long, long way from the white board and notebooks that were used in the past”.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) has a comprehensive program for Line Service Technicians called Safety 1st. Southwest Jet Center has invested in Safety 1st certification for all of their Line Service Technicians.
Pinnacle Aviation teams up with Southwest Jet Center’s administrative staff and crew of eight (8) dedicated Line Service Technicians, affectionately known as “The Line Guys” to ensure our operations run smoothly. “It makes a big difference when the line guys are proactive and diligent” says Scott Casey, Pinnacle Aviation’s Charter Manager, “whether we have a client departing at 4:00 am or arriving late on a holiday the line guys do a fantastic job with the client’s baggage, vehicles and handling the aircraft movements – their support is critical and always appreciated.” He added, “Their great service is not surprising considering most of the line guys have extensive experience working on the line.”
Teamwork, attention to detail, focus, communication and cooperation are the successful characteristics of the professional Line Service Technicians at Southwest Jet Center.