Airlines working to keep tarmac workers cool in scorching heat

Posted at 6:49 AM, Jun 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-19 13:40:53-04

It's one of the hottest jobs around -- literally. Airline ground crews spend the day working next to jet engines. 

Officials say it's generally 20 degrees hotter on baggage ramps than elsewhere so airlines are working to keep employees cool on the tarmac. 

For example, American Airlines is setting up cooling zones with tents and swamp coolers keep workers hydrated. Drink carts also roam around with 20-gallon coolers of ice cold water and Gatorade to help replace electrolytes as baggage handlers especially have a taxing job loading 50-plus pound bags. 

"Compare it to a football player, they're running plays, having Gatorade helps to recharge their muscles keep the electrolytes up. Same principal here on the ramp," said American Airlines Customer Operations Manager Kevin McCarthy. 

Most everyone working on the tarmac wears a hat and sunglasses for added sun protection. When the heat really cranks up, American Airlines brings out special treats like a shaved ice truck or fresh fruit to keep employees cool.  

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