Yesterday in Buenos Aires, today in Paris, tomorrow in Delhi. This is commonplace for many business travellers these days. But also masses of goods are sent around the globe at fast intervals and cover huge distances by plane in a short time. International airports are the hub for passengers, their luggage and all air freight. To ensure that no chaos breaks out where an infinite number of transport routes cross, there are people who are specially trained to coordinate all these processes and ensure smooth, gear-like intermeshing processes: air traffic management assistants.
Air transport assistants take on a wide range of tasks, which on the one hand have a strong organisational orientation and require a corresponding talent for logistical processes; on the other hand, many commercial activities are also part of everyday work in order to coordinate the processes in the background. At the major airports, up to 100,000 passengers are handled every day, hundreds of thousands of tons of goods are handled and up to 1,000 take-offs and landings are recorded. Roughly speaking, the tasks can be divided into two main areas, namely passenger transport and freight transport.
In passenger transport
For passengers, air traffic management assistants can be the point of contact from the first minute of a journey. For example, if you work for an airline, you are responsible for advising and supporting customers, calculating long-term ticket prices, issuing airline tickets and managing seat reservations. At another level, the assistant is responsible for creating flight plans, ordering and delivering in-flight catering with caterers and passenger handling on the ground. Foreign language skills are particularly important in customer contact. But technical understanding is also advantageous, because air traffic management assistants also arrange cleaning as well as maintenance and repair work on the various aircraft or procure fuel and spare parts. In addition, they also calculate standing and refuelling times, which in turn are included in cost calculations.
In freight traffic
Air freight is the optimal solution for many goods in international trade because air transport is by far the fastest medium- and long-haul route. In addition, it is much more predictable and reliable than, for example, transport by road: flight schedules are strictly adhered to worldwide except for minor deviations, and they even have to be, otherwise the entire organizational structure at airports would collapse. For goods with a limited shelf life, such as fruit and seafood, or shipments with fixed deadlines, such as spare parts, documents, organs, disaster relief supplies, rapid and punctual transport by air is therefore chosen in almost all cases.
Air transport assistants have an equally varied and responsible job in the freight transport sector as well as in passenger transport. Freight is not only accommodated in specially designed cargo aircraft, but almost every aircraft that takes off somewhere has additional cargo in its fuselage in addition to passengers and their luggage. Air traffic management assistants take over the planning and sale of cargo space in both aircraft types and monitor the correct loading directly in the cargo hold. To do this, of course, they have to coordinate their work with customers, but in some cases also with freight forwarders and logistics companies. As with other means of transport, there are certain regulations for air transport. For example, air transport merchants have to prepare route documents and handle customs formalities for incoming and outgoing goods for international transports.
For long-term business development, they look after corporate customers and develop marketing strategies and concepts for passage and freight sales.
Irrespective of the subject area in which the assistant works, knowledge of industrial safety and the prevention of external hazards is indispensable for all persons working in flight operations.
When you think about flying, you usually don't think about domestic flights that only cover short distances in Europe. Most people associate an airport with the gateway to the world, an international environment, a place where routes from all over the world cross. Be it people or goods - they all have to and want to go from A to B and back again or even further away. In the middle of this international mixture, air traffic assistants are active and scent the air from all over the world every day. They can work in travel agencies, airlines, international logistics companies, freight forwarders or airports. The character of air transport means that there is a constant exchange with people from other countries, whether private customers or contacts in partner companies. With the appropriate knowledge of foreign languages, one can work in many countries of the world. The logistical processes that one is confronted with in air traffic are the same worldwide, both in the travel agency and at the airlines or airports. This must be the case in order to keep operations running smoothly. At the same time, there are many opportunities for air traffic management assistants to work abroad. Once you have arrived in this environment, many doors are open to you.