Full Service

Cover Story Full Service Cutter Aviation maintains a high profile at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with its many offerings of aviation services — including GSE maintenance, writes Michelle Garetson By Michelle Garetson/p> By...

"The bulk of my business is outside work," says Rozanek. "There are several airlines that we work on their equipment on the field as well as on their facility maintenance. We have a contract with the City of Phoenix for on-call maintenance — we take care of their passenger boarding bridges. We also take care of many of the airlines’ passenger boarding bridges, conveyor systems, pushbacks, tugs, air conditioning units, and heaters. We maintain a little bit of electric equipment, but not too much — mostly gas and diesel. We do equipment painting as well —there’s nothing we don’t do. We provide 24/7 on-call service to all of our customers. Anything from pushbacks to fuel trucks to towbars, passenger boarding bridges, conveyor systems, — it’s all there."

Tedeschi adds, "A lot of what we’ve been doing here is painting. A ground equipment gets repainted and we have certified vehicle paint booth on premises." RESCUE EFFORTS

Cutter's Ground Support Equipment Maintenance Crew

Sometimes, calls to Cutter GSE Maintenance crew require them to repair equipment off-site.

"The fuel vendors will call on occasion for us to repair their trucks," says Tedeschi. "That’s when Matt goes off-site to go repair their trucks there or bring them back here for repairs."

the kinds of repairs needed out in the field vary and Rozanek crew need to be ready for anything from fuel leaks nozzles not working valves opening closing. They change tires starters as well troubleshoot engine problems.TRAINING
One of the critical issues in the GSE industry is training. Many times, adequate training cannot be accomplished due to constraints in time and budget — it costs money to send people for training and by sending them to training, there will be fewer people back at the shop to handle the day-to-day business.

Fortunately, Cutter knows the value of training its personnel and schedules employees for courses throughout the year. Much of the training involves boarding bridge education as the Cutter GSE crew maintains, as well as installs, many of the new bridges at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. "A lot of it is hands-on experience, but we also have people have attended and others lined up for school at FMC Jetway in Ogden, Utah for classes and bridge schooling," says Rozanek. "We’ve sent others to FMC in Florida for commanders and pushbacks. Training lasts about four days at FMC."

Safety training is also critical for the group and monthly meetings are held to reinforce commitment safety. Discussion items include OSHA (Occupational Safety Health Administration) rules regulations, City Hazard Storm Water as well EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations. >"You have to go through a security and driving license test to be on this airport as well as required hazmat training," Tedeschi explains. "The airport has regular runway incursion meetings. The big issue here is there’s a lot of airline traffic and the mechanics do a lot of driving across the field to support the airlines."


Boarding Bridge

The Cutter GSE Maintenance group has increased their involvement in the maintenance as well as installation of passenger boarding bridges at Sky Harbor Airport. It is quite an undertaking — installations of new bridges can take up to four or five days per bridge to complete. Subsequent maintenance of the installed bridges can be time-consuming as was evident the day GSE Today was visiting.

"We’ve got one aircraft leaving now and one coming in a half hour," said one of Rozanek’s crew who was waiting to perform some preventative maintenance on a bridge.

"So, that gives you about 10 minutes to work on it then," replied Rozanek.

"At times, a six-hour job can take about a day and a half," said Rozanek. "We have to work around the airlines’ schedule."

When customers (airlines) come first, everything else is second — especially GSE maintenance. With new security measures in place, the word scheduled preventative maintenance quickly becomes a misnomer. Rozanek’s comment about working around airlines exactly right and crews need to be patient as well ready go once aircraft pushes back leaves gate area. 24/7 takes on sinister meaning feel they may for 24-hour wait. PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE
     nbsp"When it comes time to perform a PM (preventative maintenance) on a bridge, our facility maintenance personnel follow the factory recommended schedule and procedures," says Rozanek. "Whether it’s for a quarterly, semi-annual, or an annual check, we run the bridge through all of its functions and test all soft and hard limit switches. Test all of the operational safety switches. Check all wiring connections. Lubricate all the required areas of the bridge for a smooth operation and wash the bridge down."

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