An Emphasis on Education

At services Expo, line service supervisor training, safety are center stage


“While other styles tend to come naturally and are reactive, the team builder style is proactive and must be cultivated,” says Martinez.

“This manager type is the most satisfying and most productive; they can see the bigger picture, and they make short-term sacrifices for long-term goals.

“A manager’s style is dynamic, not static; it must be responsive to a variety of situational factors.”

Customers - Internal and External
Walter Chartrand, general manager for business aviation for AirBP Aviation Services, relates that only 5 percent of customers who have had a problem will ever complain to management; although 45 percent tell front line employees. Seven out of ten customers will repeat business if the complaint is resolved in their favor, a dissatisfied customer will tell nine to 15 people about it. Yet, he points out, it costs six times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an old one.

It is for these reasons, says Chartrand, that keeping happy employees will equate to happy customers. Ways to keep employees happy include acknowledging employees when positive customer feedback is received; keeping staff involved with issues and asking them for ideas on improving customer service; and, providing proper training and a safe work environment.

Managers are encouraged to treat those they oversee with respect, as a customer; but they are to never discipline employees in public, explains Chartrand. Providing good customer service is essential to job security, future career opportunities, and customer loyalty.

Says Chartrand, “Long-term customers are usually more profitable; a 5 percent increase in customer retention can boost profit by 25 to 125 percent.”

Keeping customers involves taking each problem seriously, and following through, says Chartrand. “Understand your customers’ needs; master the technical and procedural ins and outs of your job; and look and act like a professional.”

Quality control
Ascent Aviation Group’s equipment director and quality control officer, Reed Fuller, gave a line service technical review presentation which focused on aviation fuel quality control, filtration, additives, and storage.

According to Fuller, there are four important steps to assuring fuel quality when receiving a fuel load, (1) let the truck set for ten minutes with the internal valves open; (2) perform a white bucket test on each compartment; if contaminants are found after five one-gallon samples have been taken, the load should be rejected; (3) perform an API gravity test; and (4) check the differential pressure on the filter during off-loading.

The key principle regarding aviation storage, says Reed, is to make sure everyone follows all industry standards. Before unloading fuel, line service employees must check that both the filter and tank sumps are clean, check tank volume for room, connect the grounding wire and set the valves, take a white bucket sample, and check fuel gravity.

Reed relates that supervisors should follow ATA requirements for all periodic inspections. Inspections of the yard and equipment condition, filter and tank sumps, differential pressure, grounding reel, and fire extinguishers should be performed daily. Filter membrane tests, grounding cable continuity, and the nozzle strainer should be inspected monthly, and emergency shutdown and water defense systems quarterly. Yearly inspections should be performed on the storage tank interior, the differential pressure gauge, filter elements and separators, tank vents, and line strainers, says Reed.

Fire safety
NATA’s fire safety training session provides the opportunity for seminar attendees to receive 14 CFR 139.321 fire safety training certification. Apart from the fire safety technical education, the seminar also covers the latest revisions to standard fire safety training.

Among key revisions, the term “grounding” has been eliminated. The procedure by which any type of fuel transfer is initiated is now referred to as “bonding.” Other revisions include a new requirement for recurrency training in fueling safety for supervisors and employees — to every 24 months; air carrier fueling operations are now subject to FAR Part 139 inspection standards; and airports with air carrier operations utilizing aircraft with more than nine passenger seats, but less than 31 seats, are now also subject to Part 139 inspection standards.

We Recommend