Ground Support Spotlight: Pete Buffkin

April 13, 2023
Get to know Westmor Industries' aviation sales manager and learn how the fueling segment is evolving.
Westmor Industries
Pete Buffkin
Pete Buffkin

Job Title:  Aviation Sales Manager

Company:  Westmor Industries

Location:  Columbus, MN

Years of Experience in Ground Support:  About 30

Years with Current Company: 10

Previous Employers in the Industry:  Garsite and Eaton/Carter Ground Fueling

Industry committees, associations, working groups served on:

SAE AE-5C Aviation Ground Fueling Systems Committee, Chairman and Secretary

NFPA 407 Committee Member

What attracted you to a career in the ground support industry?

I basically came across the industry by accident. I found an engineering job in it early in my career.

What has kept you engaged in the industry? 

It is a relatively small industry with lots of great people that care about what they do.  And you feel like you can make a difference.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given while working in this field?  

Be honest and truthful.

How have you seen the ground support industry change the most during your career? 

Early in my career, the major customers all had their technical expert for refueling equipment so they had very detailed specifications. Today more customers tell us what they are trying to accomplish with the equipment and we can utilize our expertise to make the best product to do what they want.

Has this change been to the benefit or detriment of the industry? 

This has absolutely made the industry better. Better products are made when we focus on function.

What’s the next big thing coming to the ground support industry?

It is already underway, but electrification of the fleet is the big thing. It is just getting started in the refueler segment and there will be a learning curve.

What type of an impact will it make? 

It will help airlines and airports meet their green initiatives and it should have a positive impact on our environment.

What would you say to encourage someone to join the ground support industry?  

I would say it is a great career to make a difference, and with hard work and dedication, there are many opportunities.

About the Author

Josh Smith | Editor