What Is The Duty Of Ground Staff? (With Job Requirements)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 26 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

At an airport, the ground staff have varied responsibilities to ensure that all operations at the airport function smoothly. For people interested in working in the aviation industry without the stringent cabin crew requirements, this job role is ideal. Understanding the essential duties of ground staff can help you better determine if this role is suitable for you. In this article, we answer the question, 'What is the duty of ground staff?' and outline their roles and responsibilities and typical job requirements.

What Is The Duty Of Ground Staff?

The answer to 'What is the duty of ground staff?' is that they ensure the safety and convenience of the passengers of an aircraft. Also known as ground crew, these professionals take care of each passenger until they board the aeroplane. This includes helping the passengers with checking in luggage, assisting them with safety-related information, confirming their reservations and selling tickets. If there are any disabled passengers, they can assist them through the checking-in and boarding process to ensure they can do it easily.

Further, the duties of ground personnel vary based on their role, as there are a few types of ground staff jobs. Each role requires a certain set of skills unique to the job. Some of these roles include:

  • Ticket agent

  • Crew scheduling coordinator

  • Airline station agent

  • Aeroplane technician

  • Flight dispatcher

  • Passenger assistant

  • Baggage handler

  • Service agent for passengers

Related: Passenger Service Agent Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

What Do Ground Staff Roles And Responsibilities Include?

The ground staff may work on these tasks daily:

Greeting passengers

As a ground staff member, you may greet passengers as they arrive at the airport. Offer to be helpful if they require any assistance and try to make them feel welcome. Remember to always be kind and professional in your interactions with passengers.

Related: 10 Airline Cabin Crew Skills (With Tips To Improve Them)

Ensuring passenger safety

Passengers may be required to walk across the airport connecting the terminal building and the aircraft's runway. Without supervision, passengers may face hazards such as vehicles moving across the tarmac, which may increase the risks of injury. They may also get confused because of unfamiliar or improper markings. As a ground staff, you help direct the passengers on where to proceed and assist them until they board the flight.

Sometimes, ground staff may also perform the screening of the passengers and their luggage for security purposes. There might be customers who may not know all the safety rules. This makes it important to always be courteous while directing the passengers.

Checking-in baggage

As a ground handler, you assist the passengers with their baggage check-in. The ground staff tag and process the checked baggage and make sure that cabin baggage conforms to regulated size, weight and content. Your duties may also include assisting the passengers with any issues of lost luggage.

Sharing necessary information

Airport procedures involve a lot of intricacies. It is crucial to share relevant information with passengers at all times clearly and articulately. They may also require communicating all information pertinent to flights to the passengers.

Related: Guide: How To Become An Airport Customer Service Agent

Assisting disabled passengers and children

As a ground staff, your responsibilities can also include arranging wheelchairs or other transport to the departure gate for mobility impaired or disabled passengers. You may also process, safeguard and supervise unaccompanied minors. The ground staff may also assist the check-in to the aircraft boarding and from aircraft deplaning to releasing the minor to a parent or any other authorised person.

While managing unaccompanied children and disabled passengers, making them feel safe is your utmost priority as a ground handler. Ask what they require and be prompt to take necessary measures to make them feel comfortable. It is especially important to engage the child in some light conversation while supervising them so that they may remain calm.

Related: 6 Interpersonal Skills Interview Questions For Professionals

Issuing tickets to passengers

Ground staff also issue tickets to the passengers over-the-counter or via call. They manage the redirecting or rebooking of tickets for customers when there is a flight delay or cancellation. A ground handler's duties also include giving updates to the waiting passengers on their updated flight timings and other arrangements.

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Aircraft boarding

Making appropriate boarding announcements, verifying documents and conducting final passenger screenings are also some responsibilities of the ground staff. They also provide the final passenger manifest and customs documentation to the aircraft crew. While managing such tasks, being thorough with each detail is essential to do the task successfully. Having good organisation skills can be helpful to execute these responsibilities effectively.

Handling aircraft disembarkation

Ground agents receive the inbound customs paperwork, accept arriving passengers at the aircraft and facilitate their transfer to the terminal building. As a ground staff member, you may also manage issues regarding inbound delays or cancellation of connecting flights.

Providing cabin services

To ensure the passengers are comfortable after boarding their flight, the ground staff also cleans the cabin and restocks all necessary items for the journey before passengers board the aircraft.

Related: What Does An Airline Ground Staff Do? (Duties And Skills)

What Are The Requirements To Become Ground Staff?

There are certain requirements candidates applying to become ground staff may possess to perform their duties efficiently. Some of these can include:

Relevant education and courses

Candidates looking to become a part of ground staff are to first complete their 10+2 education from an accredited institution from any stream. Upon completion, they pursue a graduate course in aviation or airport management to further their career in the industry as ground staff. One may opt for a diploma certification in a connected domain, such as the Certified Professional in Ground Staff Service (CPGS) or the Airport Ground Staff Training (AGST). Doing so can help better understand the profession and the associated responsibilities you may undertake as a full-time professional.

Related: 10 Common Airport Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Post-graduation course for better prospects

While a degree course or diploma certification may start your career as a ground crew, completing a post-graduation course from a reputed institution is a requirement that can help you enhance your job prospects in the industry. Other than this, you may also improve your soft skills, such as verbal communication, management skills, organisation and planning and problem-solving skills. In addition, getting a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in airport management or a related degree may help you get quicker promotions.

Related: How To Get Jobs At The Airport: All You Need To Know

Suitable training

After you complete the courses and certification programme, you may be required to get specialised training by applying for an internship at an airport as part of the curriculum. By doing so, you can become better prepared for the next step in your career as ground staff. After the successful completion of an internship, you can apply at domestic or international airports for entry-level jobs as ground staff and gradually progress to higher-level roles.

Related: 10 Ground Staff Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Customer care skills

When customers arrive at the airport, their priority is boarding their flight on time. It is your responsibility to make sure they feel welcomed and help them with the questions they may have. Meeting their requirements successfully is important to enhance their entire travel experience. By being cordial, informative and helpful, you may leave a good impression on your customers and enhance the reputation of the airline company for which you work and help them grow the customer base.

Related: What Is Customer Service? Definition And Career Advice

Interpersonal skills

Possessing good interpersonal skills means you can actively listen to the speaker and answer them effectively to ensure fulfilling their requirements. It is important to be kind to passengers and treat them with respect. Being a ground staff often includes managing a variety of people, which makes it essential to be respectful, patient and kind in all your interactions throughout their airport experience.

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