General Aviation

Published on January 17th, 2017 | by Joe McDermott


Follow Me-Aircraft Marshallers

Last year our small group of trained aircraft marshallers attended 14 events, Bray Air Show/Weston & Commemorative Air Force/Ellington Field, Texas both requiring three days on the ramp with Carrickmore held over two days. In all we were working a ramp on 19 different days.  

In addition we also held a total of 18 training, recurrent training & integration days!

We have a maximum of 10 active members to draw from but of course not all are available for each event due work, family commitments or geographical location. As a volunteer organisation we rely on our members good will, their bosses agreeing to regular shift swaps & their colleagues filling the gaps. We will not mention wives & girlfriends except to say they have all been very understanding to date!

Most years we receive requests for assistance just too near the event date to allow us to plan to have team members free to attend, so we are inviting requests for ramp assistance early for the 2017 season. Once we agree to attend an event it will be listed on our website, so to check your event is on our calendar go to

Just a reminder, we do not just “marshall” aircraft. We plan for each event with a separate Risk Assessment & Operations Plan, map out a traffic flow pattern based on the various types of aircraft expected, everything from micro lights, flex-wings, auto-gyros, to helicopters & war birds. A full FOD sweep is undertaken before each event starts & following all heli movements. It’s a complete Ramp Oversight package. As always we work with the Event Manager/Aerodrome Accountable Manager.

We do not “do” crowd marshalling & the last person to ask one of our lads to “mind the car park” is probable still receiving counselling! Our services are free, but we do ask public events/air shows to make a donation towards our equipment & travel costs. Typically, our lads can be on their feet for 8 hours or more, in all WX, so we do ask for a ready supply of water/tea/coffee/sandwiches & hot grub to be available.

Kilkeel-Derryogue got the “best grub” vote for 2017, for an outstanding spread (and a great cause)!


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About the Author

Joe has worked in operations & business development with a number of Fixed Based Operators (FBO) including USA based companies Landmark Aviation & Universal Aviation. As founder of business airport/FBO focused consultancy Global FBO Consult he has worked on projects in Bahrain, France, India, Ireland, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Tanzania, UAE, United Kingdom & USA. The company specializes in providing cost effective solutions to assist airports, FBOs & ground handling companies grow efficiently & deal with the competition head on, allowing them to attract new customers, keep existing customers & generate maximum revenue. He is a contributor to many BizAv magazines including Business Airport International, Bluesky Business Aviation News, & has written feature articles for P1, historic aircraft magazine FlyPast and a regular contributor to Flying In Ireland. He is a founding member & CEO of the Irish Business Aviation Association (IrBAA), Honorary President of Runway Aviation Club Ghana, founder of Follow Me-Aircraft Marshallers & a “patched” member of the Commemorative Air Force Marshallers-Detachment in the USA.

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