Air Transport World

The service industry comes of age: not all contracted functions call for unskilled labor. (part 2)

Not all contracted functions call for unskilled labor. Activities range from customs brokerage to securing foreign credit.

Although virtually every major air carrier in the world employs a service company for at least some of its operations responsibilities, this expanding pool of workers is not limited to aircraft cleaners and baggage handlers. Not all service functions require unskilled labor. More and more, airlines are contracting out work that traditionally was performed by employees.

Loading supervision and weight and balance preparation, for example, are routinely performed by service representatives on aircraft ranging from DC-8 freighters to 747s. Companies that oversee many scheduled technical stops on a daily basis-such as Bangor Aviation Services, SRS Aviation in Shannon or Dynair Services in Anchorage and Honolulu-usually operate without local airline representation due to the high cost of maintaining a down-line airline employee. Dispatch Services maintains a flight-watch department in Miami that files flight plans and oversees operations for several European and Latin American carriers.

Along with its sister company Aircraft Service Inc. (ASI), Dispatch Services is one of several aviation divisions owned by Greyhound Airport Services Cos., one of the largest aviation-servicing organizations in the world.

28-airport operation

Another Greyhound subsidiary is GASCO, which with extensive investment in fuel-farm management and fuel-system design, operates at 28 airports in the U.S., the Caribbean and the U.K., where virtually no major airline is not impacted by it. Additionally, it is one of the largest ground-handling agencies in the U.S.; revenues from all divisions total approximately $100 million annually. The fueling and ground handling sectors have operated for more than 35 years.

Approximately 84% of its 3,800 employees systemwide are unionized and one quarter are part-time workers. Lloyd M. Stauffer, Jr., senior VP-marketing, maintains that, "we are very proud of the fact that all of our line management has been developed within our companies. We feel that this is one of the major strengths that the GASCO companies have in relationship to our competitors." But GASCO's presence extends beyond airport servicing. It has constructed a fueling pipeline from Port Everglades to Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and has designed, engineered, constructed and financed fueling-hydrant systems as well.

The FAA is quite stringent about regulating operational responsibilities for U. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.