Schools Training

An Even Closer Look at Ground Support Equipment

29 JUN 2012
Career Path : ground support equipment

In my previous article I began introducing a few types of ground support equipment. To recap, here is what we looked at last time:

– Air Start Units

– Belt Loaders

– Catering Trucks

– Deicers

The purpose of taking a close look at ground support equipment is to get a better understanding of how an airline functions on a daily basis. Aircrafts are wondrous, need a lot of maintenance, and require that several precautionary measures be taken in order to ensure that every flight goes smoothly.

In this article we will continue to go through the several types of ground support equipment used on a daily basis at airlines around the world. First up is fuel trucks!


Fuel Trucks

In a perfect world, we would get to see aircrafts pull into our local gas station and just fill up their tank. Unfortunately, this is not possible, but it sure makes for a nice image! Aside from its massive size, an aircraft would not be able to be fueled up in a regular manner for many reasons. Firstly, the fuel it requires is different than ground vehicles. Because aircrafts reach high altitudes, all aviation fuel is a specialized mixture that decreases the possibility of freezing or exploding, and ensures optimal aviation performance. In order to fill the aircrafts, ground support uses fuel trucks especially made for this task.

Depending on the airport and region, aircraft fuel can either be distributed from underground pipes or directly from tanks located on a fuel truck. Either way, the task must be carried out carefully, and there are several specifications that must be adhered to in order to avoid any mishaps.


Lavatory Carts and Trucks

Squeamishness aside, there is no denying that aircrafts need ground support to unload all the waste that accumulated while up in the air. The process is not terribly complicated, but it takes time and involves several specific steps in order to ensure that everything is done to preserve sanitation. Every aircraft with a toilet has a built-in storage tank, which contains a certain amount of disinfecting liquid (also known as blue juice) to ensure that the tank itself is easy to keep sanitary after each time that it is filled and emptied.

Lavatory carts or trucks are the main sorts of airline equipment used to empty out the aircraft waste tanks and carry them off to the appropriate disposal station.  The trucks are equipped with a type of vacuum hose, which transfers the waste from the aircraft tank into the truck tank. Once that is done, the truck refills the aircraft tank with the aforementioned blue juice in order to keep the premises as sanitary as possible.


Visit GTA Aviation Ground Equipment Specialties for more information ground service equipment.