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Air transport operatives

£13,000 Average salary at age 20
£28,600 Average Salary
44 Average hours per week


Air transport operatives refuel, load and unload aircraft, direct the movement of aircraft at airports, and positions gangways or staircases to allow passengers to board and disembark aircraft.

Main Tasks

  • Refuels aircraft from mobile tankers;
  • Directs the ground movement of aircraft at airports;
  • Loads and unloads conveyor belts to transport luggage between terminal buildings and aircraft, monitors conveyor belts and clears any blockages;
  • Loads aircraft with luggage, in-flight meals, refreshments and other items;
  • Operates retractable gangway or positions mobile staircases to enable passengers and crew to board and disembark aircraft.


There are no formal academic entry requirements, though employers may require entrants to possess GCSEs/S grades for some posts. Training is provided off- and on-the-job. NVQs/SVQs in Providing Airside Ramp Operations are available at Level 2.

UK Prospects

10500 Workforce Size
0.13% Predicted growth 2021 - 2027
3981 Predicted Replacement 2021 - 2027

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