We take a look at the Aviation Ground Handler apprenticeship standard that trains people to help supporting the safe arrival, turnaround and departure of aircraft at airports, military bases, heliports and other airfields.

Airport delays are being reported across the country with holiday flights being cancelled. A perfect storm of COVID and Brexit saw people search for alternative employment when air travel came to a standstill. This has led to a chronic shortage of ground handling staff, so this role is in demand at present.

Aviation ground handling staff ensure the efficient and effective arrival, turnaround and departure of aircraft. They work in a number of environments, such as a commercial airport, military base/aerodrome, Royal Navy aircraft carrier, heliport or other airfield. Aviation ground handlers work in highly organised teams often below the wing of aircraft.

At the heart of this role Aviation ground handlers day to day duties provide all necessary help and support when guiding aircraft and transport, loading and unloading luggage and cargo, checking luggage against flight lists and taking it to the aircraft and or reclaim conveyor belt.

The aviation industry is highly regulated to ensure safe transport of passengers and goods. You will be expected to achieve a Category 8 Certificate in Dangerous Goods awareness before completing their apprenticeship. A refresher train programme must be completed every 24 months after the initial training to comply with IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Not only will you be operating machinery to help load goods and fuel into the aircraft to prepare it for take-off, you’ll also need to learn hand signals for marshalling an aircraft onto its stand. In addition you’ll learn how to drive the machinery that pushes aircraft back off the stand, so it can taxi effectively to the runway for take-off.

If you would like further information on apprenticeships and how to apply for them, talk to the Apprenticeship Support by Be More Team. The team is funded by the European Social Fund & LCR Strategic Investment Fund and provides impartial information and advice on apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region.