A line service technician provides ground support to aircraft as they arrive and depart. This member of the ground crew can be involved in turning planes around to get them ready for the next trip, handling some customer service topics, and keeping the environment safe and orderly. Airlines may hire their own technicians or they can rely on staff provided by an airport, depending on the nature of their contract. There are no special educational requirements to become a line service technician, but it does help to have a driver’s license.
One aspect of this job involves refueling operations. The line service technician keeps fueling tanks and trucks ready, fuels planes when they require aviation gas, and checks for signs of damage to fueling systems. At the same time, any other damage to the outside of an aircraft can be reported, allowing other ground crew to check the plane over and determine if it is safe for takeoff. Line service technicians also monitor customer safety when people come into contact with the tarmac area, as is common with small aircraft.
Line service technicians can direct planes as they arrive and leave, setting them up in orderly lines to wait for clearance to take off or approach specific gates to deplane the passengers. This can include setting up equipment on the ground to provide air conditioning and other services so the interior of the plane will remain pleasant. Some planes may need to be towed, which can require a line service technician. These staff members also work with baggage, processing it to help planes load and unload quickly and smoothly.
Safety is an important part of the job. As with other ground crew, line service technicians wear gear to protect themselves, including vests for visibility and ear plugs to reduce the risk of hearing loss. They also look out for the safety of flight crews and passengers. They are the most likely to see every part of an aircraft before it pulls away from the gate, and may catch safety concerns like loose bolts, tears, and other abnormalities on the exterior of the aircraft.
Airlines and aviation service companies with job openings typically list them in trade publications and other resources where candidates might be looking. The requirements to become a line service technician may include physical fitness, a driver’s license in good standing, and a high school diploma. Line service technicians do not need specific experience with aviation or heavy equipment, but it can help, and may make an applicant more competitive. Jobs may come with some benefits, depending on the employer.