Becoming a ground handling specialist

Meet Florian Wilzer - Ground Handling Specialist at MAI

Aviation has always been my passion. After finishing school, it was therefore clear for me that I had to find a way to get into the business that has inspired me nearly all my life. I accepted my first job as a ramp agent, and as a reward got introduced to an industry that allowed me to perfectly turn my passion into a profession: Ground Handling.

Since then, when I started dispatching aircrafts at Munich Airport, I have been through different roles with various levels of responsibilities. After completing my studies in Aviation Management that included a trainee program with Lufthansa (where I had deep insights into an airline’s view on hub operations and ground handling), I started working with Swissport as duty station manager, supervising up to 150 departures and 200 employees per shift. Being responsible for all ground handling activities from passenger boarding to turnaround coordination perfectly completed my technical knowledge of aviation ground operations. My first international experience led me to Saudi Arabia where I had the chance to set up Swissport’s Operations Control Center for its new ground handling station at Jeddah’s KAIA Airport. Returning to Munich, I was subsequently asked to take on the role as project manager for setting up a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) at Munich Airport. After successfully completing the assigned projects and an increased interest in project work, I decided to join MAI’s consulting branch.

Florian Wilzer, Ground Handling Consultant at Munich Airport International
Having worked in the industry for several years, Florian enjoys working as ground handling consultant for MAI worldwide. © Munich Airport International GmbH
Florian Wilzer on the apron at Munich Airport
Florian turned his passion into his profession by becoming a Ground Handling expert. © Munich Airport International GmbH

The ground handling industry certainly is the most diverse, fast-paced and economically challenging branch of the aviation system. Several key skills that are useful in ground handling have helped me in turning my academic and technical knowledge into becoming a consultant. The hands-on mentality that focuses on result-driven processes, does not only help in getting an aircraft ready for departure during minimum ground time, but also in delivering the solutions that are important for our customers, while sticking to tight timelines and fulfilling expectations. Learning and using intercultural competencies is a must in the aviation industry and may easily be translated from an airport apron into any international project, where stakeholder management is key. Last but not least, it is all about communication: In an industry, where more than 50 percent of the business is outsourced to 3rd parties, only few targets can be reached, if communicating in the wrong way or not at all.

By working with Munich Airport International, I am today not only able to support our clients’ organizations to achieve their targets, but also to develop myself. Having taken the first steps as a quality & safety auditor and recently being promoted to Senior Consultant, I am looking forward to use all my gained skills to help evolve the industry that I enjoy working in so much.