Introducing Manuel Viehweg in A Day in the Life of an FBO Line Employee

Manuel, how long have you worked for Jet Aviation?

I started working for Jet Aviation over ten years ago in May 2010.

Can you please describe a typical day for you at Jet Aviation Dusseldorf?

A typical day starts at 5:30 a.m. when we would check our Jet A1 tank to ensure the density and temperature values are correct and conform to all requirements. All vehicles are then checked and prepared for use, after which we do an obligatory FOD control run to round off the morning program. This is where we look for any foreign objects and/or debris that is not where it is supposed to be and could potentially cause harm to aircraft, equipment, cargo, personnel, or anything else of value.

Once all the checks are complete, I usually go to my workstation, check my mails, and start preparing the fuel invoices from the previous day, assigning each to the appropriate customer. Various checklists and documents are checked and maintained.

Only then does the day-to-day business begin, which includes towing aircraft out of the hangar, refueling aircraft, briefing and parking aircraft with our Follow Me vehicle, which is used to ensure the safe marshaling of aircraft. Throughout the day, there may also be meetings with Shell or Customs, or evening a training session with employees, as I'm a licensed Shell trainer.

Other duties include the maintenance of our fleet, which includes two Follow Me vehicles, two Lektro aircraft tractors, and four Passenger Transport buses.

If I work the late shift it often happens that I have to get our Jet A1 tank filled. In this case, I would accompany the whole process, take samples, make sure that everything complies with the legal requirements. 

We understand the runway is under construction at the moment. How has the construction impacted the FBO and your role in particular?

We've lost a taxiway as a result of the construction, which means we have to plan exactly when and where to park each aircraft to prevent any delays in taxiing. There are a lot of moving parts and we have to be attuned to everything that's going on in order to ensure timely departures and a seamless customer service.

“We've lost a taxiway as a result of the construction, which means we have to plan exactly when and where to park each aircraft to prevent any delays in taxiing. There are a lot of moving parts and we have to be attuned to everything that's going on in order to ensure timely departures and a seamless customer service.”

What do you enjoy most about the job?

What I enjoy most about my work is the number of different tasks and challenges – the variety. No two days are the same. Every day I have to deal with new customers, every day different things await me. The only main constant is that I always need to react quickly, confidently and in a service-oriented manner. We also have a great team in Düsseldorf, where everyone can rely on each other. This really makes the job a lot of fun.

What typical challenges do you face on the job? 

The main challenges are the required flexibility. As only general aviation operates in Düsseldorf, no two jobs are the same. My goal is to be fast and effective for the customer and our partners, while maintaining the highest safety standards. As a service provider, I do everything I possibly can to make the customer's stay as pleasant as possible, while never losing focus on safety and time.

What advice would you give a new employee joining the team?

Stay calm and relaxed. Plan carefully in advance, so you know what should happen and how —but always remain open, because things in aviation can change quickly!  That's the fun of it!!

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