Aviation Ground Operative Apprenticeship

an aircraft on the apron

Aviation Ground Operative Apprenticeship

Aviation Ground Operative
Overview of Role
Working in a specialist role supporting the safe arrival, turn around and departure of aircraft at airports, military bases, heliports and other airfields.
14 Months ( 12 months Practical Period of Training + 2 months for End Point Assessment)
Suitable for Roles Within
Aircraft Handling, Aircraft Movement, Fire Fighter, Flight Operations, Passenger Services
Airports, military bases, heliports and other airfields
End Point Assessment (Awarding Organisation)
Highfield logo
Start Date
Flexible around the needs of the business
Progression from this apprenticeship is expected to be into a ground operator’s role with the potential to develop into an aviation operations specialist role.
Maximum Price

£ 3000

Prices are negotiable depending on the nature of the delivery model agreed.

Visit our Apprenticeship Funding page to see your options for funding.

Aviation Ground Operative Apprenticeship
Learning Goals

Apprentices will learn

  • Moving, loading, unloading and servicing a range of aircraft
  • Using key aviation systems in line with organisational procedures
  • Aviation security procedures and systems and dealing with emergencies
  • Identifying, handling and dealing with dangerous goods
  • About air traffic control (ATC) and passenger service operations and control processes
  • Specialist aircraft handling, aircraft movement, fire fighting, flight operation or passenger service skills
  • Health and safety practices and legal requirements within an aviation environment

Aviation Ground Operative Apprenticeship

Core Aviation

All Aviation Ground Operatives must have all of the following core knowledge, skills and behaviours.

(Know it)
(Show it)
Safety Health and safety regulations and legislation relevant to the role; an aviation environment and organisational procedures and how they impact on self, others and in relation to aviation operational duties. Work in line with organisational and legal requirements relating to health and safety, and be aware of, report and prevent hazards in an aviation environment.
Security The systems, procedures and requirements to ensure security of self and others in own area of responsibility. Contribute to security of self and others in own area of responsibility e.g. in airside / landside areas.
Compliance and Legislation How to communicate effectively and transfer relevant information to people and how to select the most appropriate method of communication. Communicate effectively transmitting and receiving information and recording it as required.
Inter-personal skills Own role within the team and how it contributes to achieving objectives. Know how to identify and respond to individuals’ needs and abilities in different situations and communicate with others and colleagues from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures. Work effectively as part of a team and with others. Identifying and responding to the needs of individuals, including colleagues, other organisations or customers.
Aviation Systems Identify key aviation systems used in own role and how to operate and adhere to them in line with the organisation’s procedures. Use aviation systems effectively relevant to own role to achieve the required outcome.
Disruption, incidents and emergencies Emergency procedures in own area of responsibility, common incidents and disruption that may occur in an aviation environment and the appropriate action to take in the event of an incident. Take appropriate action in the event of an incident, disruption or emergency, liaising with relevant people and recording actions and outcomes as required.
Dangerous goods Relevant dangerous goods and how to deal with them effectively in own area of responsibility. Follow procedures for identification and safe handling of dangerous goods in own area of responsibility.

Behaviours (Live it)

  • Be punctual and reliable
  • Be a positive role model to others in attitude to work and how it is undertaken
  • Treat team, customers and other stakeholders with courtesy and respect
  • Remain focussed when a problem arises so that effective and timely decisions can be made
  • Work responsibility to keep people safe and operations flowing smoothly, complying with working practises
  • Use equipment and technology responsibly and effectively
  • Treat others, work areas and equipment with respect at all times
  • Demonstrate personal drive to achieve the vision and objectives of the organisation
  • Handle all tasks in a calm and organised manner

Specialist: Aviation

Aviation Ground Operatives must demonstrate ONE of the five following specialist functions.

Specialist function 1: Aircraft Handling

The main purpose of an aircraft handling ground operative is to ensure that the full array of aircraft services are completed correctly, including; marshalling, chocks, ground power, correct operation of lower hold doors, loading and unloading passenger baggage and cargo in accordance with aircraft manufacturer and current carrier/organisational regulations. An aircraft handler must be an effective diligent and proactive team member; displaying a high degree of care to aircraft, equipment and customer goods, be responsible for their own actions and to be a good ambassador for their organisation.

(Know it)
(Show it)
Marshalling The procedures for marshalling and controlling the movement of aircraft and vehicles, including requirements and importance of  distance, speed, and safe positioning of an aircraft and vehicles. Effectively use the correct marshalling hand signals and techniques required to safely position and manoeuver vehicles into and around the aircraft.
Loading instruction report The purpose of a Load Instruction Report (LIR), the key information contained therein and why it is important and relevant to every aircraft movement. Correctly interpret information on a LIR and ensure procedures within own role are conducted according to the report.
Load and unload A team member’s responsibility for the safe, correct and timely on-load/off-load operation, and use of Unit Load Devices (ULD) and restraints to ensure the safety and security of loads. Complete loading and unloading of aircraft safely within the allocated time in accordance with the LIR and organisational procedures, including, restraint / unrestraint of a ULD and baggage nets following supervisor’s instruction.
Specialist equipment, including unit load device serviceability The requirements for, and operation of, specialist equipment and vehicles used on and around the aircraft , including the need for serviceable Unit Load Devices (ULDs), to prevent damage to the aircraft, baggage and cargo and own responsibility as part of the team. Identify the correct specialist equipment that is required for specific purposes on, at and around the aircraft to achieve the desired outcome, including serviceability check of ULDs and report on both serviceability and defects in accordance with organisational procedures.
Servicing Own role in aircraft servicing/turnaround management, aircraft services, pre/post use checks of holds and all hold locks. Identify the services required to facilitate an aircraft arrival, departure or turnaround and prepare / configure aircraft holds for departure.

Specialist function 2: Aircraft Movement

An aircraft movement operative acts as a team member in  the safe and efficient movement and recovery of fixed and rotary wing aircraft at a variety of airports/ heliports and other landing platforms within the civil aviation and military arenas.  They undertake tasks as team members using specialised equipment to move aircraft within an aviation environment in accordance with standard operating procedures.

(Know it)
(Show it)
Operate aviation specialist equipment Own responsibilities for checking specialised aircraft movement equipment prior to use, how to operate specialist equipment safely and ensure it is left in its allocated area on completion of use according to the organisation’s procedures. Conduct regularly scheduled inspections prior to using aviation specialist equipment, operate equipment in accordance with standard operating procedures and ensure it is stored in a safe secure manner after use.
Pushback aircraft Procedures and processes for pushing back an aircraft within the responsibilities of own role. Follow the correct procedures for preparing to, and pushing back an aircraft.
Tow aircraft The organisation’s procedures and processes for towing an aircraft within the responsibilities of own role. Follow correct procedures to prepare for and when towing aircraft.
Ensuring a hazard free airside environment Reducing risks and hazards from operating aircraft and vehicles airside and what procedures and processes are used to deal with an airside emergency. Work with the team in reducing the risks and hazards from operating aircraft and vehicles airside, implementing procedures and processes to deal with an airside emergency.

Specialist function 3: Fire Fighter

Unfortunately we are not presently able to offer this pathway.

Specialist function 4: Flight Operations

Flight operations ground operatives provide flight crew and air traffic controllers with the information required to facilitate the smooth flow of air traffic safely and expeditiously. This can take place in both an air traffic control tower and an operations room. They can also be employed in other areas such as the Terminal Control Centre at Swanwick in Hampshire

(Know it)
(Show it)
Support Aviation operations The responsibilities of a team member when collecting and collating information relating to  aviation operations, what should be disseminated to whom and how to respond to urgent incidents. Collect and collate relevant aviation information required by own role and communicate it in accordance with standard operating procedures, responding to urgent incidents.
Operate Aviation specialist equipment A team member’s responsibility for checking specialised equipment prior to use, its safe operation and leaving it in the allocated area, in acceptable condition on completion of use. Conduct daily inspections prior to using the specialist equipment in accordance with own role, operate it in accordance with standard operating procedures and ensure it is left in a safe, secure manner in its allocated area.
Ensuring a hazard free airside environment How the team identifies and reduces the risks and hazards relating to the operation of aircraft and vehicles airside, including the procedures and processes used when responding to an airside emergency. Work as part of a team to identify and reduce risks and hazards relating to the operation of aircraft and vehicles airside and when implementing processes and procedures when responding to an airside emergency.
Operate aviation IT equipment Aviation Information Technology (IT) equipment and software, including associated security protocols. Use IT equipment effectively in an aviation environment, ensuring adherence to security and organisational regulations and requirements.

Specialist function 5: Passenger Services

The main purpose of a passenger operative is to assist customers in achieving a seamless travel experience through the airport on departure and arrival. With a key role in customer interaction the passenger services operative assists customers at check-in, gates, boarding, departure and arrivals. Customer experience must be a key focus to meet and exceed expectations whilst maintaining operational and regulatory standards, and acting as an ambassador for the company, carrier and / or airport.

(Know it)
(Show it)
Travel documentation The requirements for and characteristics of passports, visas and other statutory or organisational travel documentation and how to read and confirm their validity for acceptance to travel. Identify and scrutinise travel documentation required to meet customer, organisation and legal requirements for travel and report anomalies to the passenger and line manager in accordance with relevant regulations.
Check in The organisation’s check-in process and procedures  to meet all legislation applicable to passengers, in particular data protection policies. Work as a team member to correctly check-in all booked passengers and baggage in accordance with the organisation’s aviation and IT systems and procedures.
Gate processes The role of a team member in the boarding, departure and arrival process, including premium services such as lounge access and priority boarding and the operation of specialised equipment for boarding, arrivals, and passenger movement. Effectively communicate to passengers using public address and IT systems, and carry out the boarding functions, ensuring accurate head counts and security and pre-boarding briefs and passenger handling duties; communicate with flight crew regarding customer and other requirements.
Customer service and communication Understand fully the importance of communications and customer service to the organisation, including compliance with passenger related Air Transport Security (ATS) requirements and procedures for landside/airside safety of passengers and staff. Be polite, helpful and customer focussed whilst maintaining customer service standards, processing passengers with restricted movement (PRMs) and ensuring compliance with regulations and commercial operations.

Transferable Skills

Apprentices who have not yet achieved level 1 English and maths are required to achieve level 1 English and maths and take the test for level 2 prior to completion of the apprenticeship.

Aviation Ground Operative Apprenticeship Vacancies

Live Aviation Ground Operative Apprenticeship Vacancies

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