miércoles, 5 de junio de 2013

Marshallers in Amsterdam - AMS

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Schiphol Airport) is the busiest airport in the Netherlands, KLM's main hub and other companies as Martinair, Transavia, etc., also European hub for Delta Airlines and base for Vueling. It is the 4th busiest airport in Europe and 16th by total passanger traffic (around 50 million passengers per year), and 5th busiest by international passenger traffic.

With nearly 100 years of history, the airport has 6 runways from 2000 to 3,800 meters. The terminal is designed as one large terminal, split into three large departure halls, which converge again once airside. The airport's control tower when it was built in 1991 was the highest in the world with its 101 meters. The airport has 165 gates, of which 18 are doubles, to serve aircrafts as A380.
Curiously, the airport Schiphol has its own mortuary, and since 2006 people can also get married at Schiphol.

At Schiphol Airport the Airside Operations unit is responsible for the processes on the Airside part of Schiphol. This unit is divided into 6 smaller departments: Airside Support, Birdcontrol, Apron Planning and Control, Construction and Maintanance Control, Proces Management Airside and Airside Authority.

Marshalling is accomodated within the Airside Support unit. This department consists of 5 teams with about 13 employees each. 5 employees of each team are responsible for the marshalling tasks. All of these personel are contracted by the Airport, which is exploited by Schiphol Group (http://www.schiphol.nl/index_shg_en.html) and work in a 3x8 hours schedule:    
  • Early shift 06.30 - 15.00 hours
  • Late shift 14.30 - 23.00 hours
  • Night shift 22.30 - 07.00 hours

When snow is expected this changes to 2x12 hours shifts, 06.30 - 19.00 hours and 18.30 - 07.00 hours.
The Airside Support department has several tasks besides marshalling. It is also responsible for Snowclearing on aprons, taxiways and runways in winter, (safety) escorts of construction companies on the airfield, temporary obstacle and work area, Airside cleaning and other tasks. All of these tasks have their own specialists.
The runway inspections are done by the Birdcontrol unit who also are repsonsible for scaring the unwanted feathered visitors on the airfield. On aprons and taxiways this is often done by a marshaller or other nearby Airside operations vehicles.
The tasks of a marshaller at Schiphol are:
  • Aircraft/parkings (marshalling and automatic docking system)
  • Ramp and apron safety
  • Coordination of the bustransportation proces at Airside
  • Preventing FOD
  • Emergency and calamity response

The way to become a marshaller is to follow a 12 weeks trainingcourse. This course starts with a 5 day theoretical training where all the tasks of a marshaller are highlighted. Also several visits (Apron office, Apron control tower, Air traffic control tower, KLM towing department and the main operations dispatch room) will be made. This training will finish with an exam. After the theoretical training the 'on the job' practice course will begin and a mentor will be assigned to the trainee. For about 8 weeks the mentor and trainee will ride together in one vehicle. After these weeks a second examination will take place. This is the moment where it will be decided if the trainee is at the required level and if he/she is allowed to marshall independently. If the examination is succesfull the trainee and mentor will be separated. Note the mentor is always nearby to intervene in any process. At the end, after about 12 weeks, a final examination will take place. If this examination is succesfull, the trainee can perform all marshalling tasks on his/her own. All practice exams are performed by a teamleader and a well expierenced marshaller.
After this training course there will be a 4 days visit to our fellow marshallers at Rotterdam the Hague Airport to experience other ways of aircraft parking and to create some feeling for other marshalling tasks.

As we speak a periodical qualifying test is implemented for the marshallers to see if they are at the requested level. This test is developed by the task group marshalling of the Airside Support unit.

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