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Marshallers Provide the Key to Safety on the Ramp

Ground Handling | March 18, 2014

Author: Stewart Macpherson

An FBO ramp can be a busy and confusing place. At times, there can be various sizes and types of aircraft on the ramp taxiing in or out.

A marshaller is there to provide another set of eyes to the pilot as part of ground handling communications to safely orchestrate aircraft movements on the ramp. Pilots rely on the ground crew to use various hand signals to safely instruct them to a parking spot on the ramp, or to safely exit the ramp on departures.

In the world of corporate aviation, one small mistake can mean one big headache. On a crowded ramp without a marshaller, the pilot is in total control, and not seeing the big picture could prove disastrous. For example, if a large aircraft is departing and a smaller aircraft is parked nearby, the jet blast could flip the smaller aircraft if the situation is not being properly monitored and the area not secured. Sometimes aircraft are making tight turns to fit into a parking spot. Without trained marshallers to provide that extra set of eyes, you again risk a possible incident. Why take the risk? Have your staff properly trained.


Stewart MacPherson, Technical Advisor, has been in the FBO business for over 20 years. He started as line crew and progressed to Operations Manager at a busy FBO. He has been heavily involved in both ramp and customer service training, and is an accredited IS-BAH (International Standards for Business Aircraft Handling) auditor and the current chair of the Standards Board for IS-BAH.

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