Special Features
December 2, 2005
Travel, more than just tickets and boarding passes

Air travel is more than reserving a seat, collecting a ticket and boarding pass then catching your flight. In between all of that there are many persons working behind the scenes to ensure that you can complete your travel safely.

At Vincy Aviation Services, Michael Dick is the man who ensures that all the ground handling equipment are in order so that aircraft can come and go in the shortest possible time with your sometimes heavy baggage safely and completely loaded.{{more}}

Michael describes his job clearly. ‘My job,’ he said, ‘is to make sure everything is done to ensure the safety of the passengers and workers.’

So when an aircraft lands, he has to have all the equipment functional to clear that craft and send it off in the shortest possible time. Along with that, his crew must tether the aircraft propellers tying it so that it does not rotate and injure either passengers or workers. Additionally, cones must be placed outlining the path passengers must take when they approach or leave the aircraft.

He and his crew maintain the tractors that haul equipment, such as the baggage trailers, lavatory cart and the Ground Power Unit (GPU) that must be connected to each aircraft upon arrival to supply power when the engines are turned off.

The Ground Handling Maintenance Officer pointed out that Caribbean Sun’s procedures are slightly different from Caribbean Star’s as they have to comply with U.S. security regulations.

‘I have to ensure that all equipment are up and running for every flight, every time,’ Michael said. ‘Sometimes there are more than one aircraft on the ground and each requires its own equipment. If one piece is not working it means that one aircraft will have to wait until the other leaves before getting the use of the equipment. That is not how we work,’ he insisted.

Michael Dick who is a fork lift operator by profession is a product of the St. Vincent Technical College having pursued the City and Guilds programme and graduating in 1986.

Previously, he worked part time maintaining the Vincy Aviation Services ground handling equipment but took on the job permanently earlier this year when Caribbean Sun began operations.

Prior to that, he worked with WIBDECO maintaining their banana loading equipment. Today, Dick still loads bananas every Monday and Tuesday for the CTAWU contract.

“I saw Vincy Aviation as a better opportunity,” Dick said, “so I came on full time.”