may2022 - 23
people supporting everything from technical
manuals to custom-built equipment to troubleshooting
equipment in need of repair.
" FedEx was an outstanding partner as they
encouraged being the leader in advancing
technology and staying on the leading edge, "
Yates continues. " This is what attracted me to
a lifelong career in aviation and ground support
FedEx's Memphis hub was an exciting place
to work, Yates says. And his team was responsible
for all equipment that serviced or touched a
plane when it was on the ground.
" At that time, people weren't typically trying
to turn cargo airplanes as fast as we were. So,
speed was of the essence, and we were tasked
with coming up with equipment that would
enhance that, which we did, " he recalls. " My
group wrote the specifications. We worked with
SAE to ensure we were in compliance with everything. It was
important for us to make sure that FedEx was on the leading
edge of all the technology. "
Yates recalls a specific example of working with ULD manufacturers
to design containers that could better utilize the space
available in order to load more freight.
" We actually came up with two or three ULDs that allowed us
to maximize the cube and fly more cube - less dense, but more
weight - to be able to load the airplanes down and get more
packages from A to B, " Yates says.
" Everywhere you turned - if you could do stuff like
that, we did it. "
In 1995, Yates retired from service with FedEx and set out to
form his own company, Ground Support Specialist (GSS). Yates'
brother Fred was a pilot with FedEx and agreed to help with the
" He helped by controlling the finance side of the business,
which allowed me the freedom to control the manufacturing/
engineering/working side of the business, " Yates says. " It made
for a really good fit. "
As the chief manager of GSS, Yates built the company slowly.
In the beginning, the company remanufactured equipment and
provided some custom manufacturing for smaller products
within in the industry.
" By the late '90s, GSS was manufacturing aircraft deicers for
small FBO-type operators, " Yates says. " Then in the early 2000s,
GSS was approached by two major carriers in North America
and the GSS line of custom-built deicers was born with the
design and development of the GS700. Soon after, the GS800 was
developed and international sales began. "
The company continued to grow and today, GSS has a full line
of custom-built, single-engine aircraft deicers, ranging from a
300-gallon trailer unit to a 2,100-gallon full-sized unit.
" GSS also builds a multitude of various GSE products including
passenger trams, custom chassis, belt-loaders, brake coolers
and more, " Yates says.
Once a GSE remanufacturing
company, GSS now has a full
line of custom-built, singleengine
Yates appreciates his time with FedEx and the knowledge he
gained there. But he says he's the kind of person that needs a
challenge, so starting his own company was appealing. Starting
conservatively by remanufacturing allowed him to overcome
the initial challenges of running his own business.
" Probably within 12 months, we became our own biggest customer
because I was buying used equipment, remanufacturing
it and selling it, " Yates recalls. " The proceeds from that provided
the funds to design and develop the new products. That's
where the GS320 and the GS700 and the GS500 - all of those
- came from.
" Of course, I was very familiar with deicers from my past. "
Collaboration and Contributions
In addition to the work he put into growing GSS, Yates made
significant contributions to the ground support industry as
a whole, regularly collaborating with other thought leaders
in the market.
" The aviation industry, although massive in size, is in reality,
a small industry controlled by a core alliance of professionals
around the world, " Yates says. " No matter where you go, the
people in our industry are always working together to create a
better and safer environment for both the handlers, operators
and the public.
" No one gives out competitive information yet we all find a
way to help each other. "
He points to GSE industry professionals working with and
helping George Prill start GSE Today, now Ground Support
Worldwide. GSS was a charter member when the International
Airport Equipment Manufacturers Association (IAEMA) was
formed, which Yates says was an important step for the GSE
Yates was also involved in the formation of the SAE G-12
committee, which is designed to govern the SAE documents
relating to deicing equipment, deicing fluids and other related
May 2022 || AviationPros.com || 23
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of may2022
Editor's Note: How Should We Address the Labor Shortage?
Key Considerations for Effective Ramp Communication
Stinar LLC: 2022 Product Leader of the Year
Kenny Gibson: 2022 Team Leader of the Year
Rudy Yates: 2022 Lifetime Achievement
Water Barrier Filters Drop In
Africa's Business Aviation Potential
PCA Hose Extending and Retracting Made Easy
Historical Highlights of the GSE Industry
may2022 - 1
may2022 - 2
may2022 - 3
may2022 - 4
may2022 - 5
may2022 - Editor's Note: How Should We Address the Labor Shortage?
may2022 - 7
may2022 - Business Buzz
may2022 - 9
may2022 - 10
may2022 - 11
may2022 - Key Considerations for Effective Ramp Communication
may2022 - 13
may2022 - Stinar LLC: 2022 Product Leader of the Year
may2022 - 15
may2022 - 16
may2022 - 17
may2022 - Kenny Gibson: 2022 Team Leader of the Year
may2022 - 19
may2022 - 20
may2022 - 21
may2022 - Rudy Yates: 2022 Lifetime Achievement
may2022 - 23
may2022 - 24
may2022 - 25
may2022 - Water Barrier Filters Drop In
may2022 - 27
may2022 - 28
may2022 - Africa's Business Aviation Potential
may2022 - 30
may2022 - 31
may2022 - PCA Hose Extending and Retracting Made Easy
may2022 - 33
may2022 - Product Hangar
may2022 - 35
may2022 - 36
may2022 - 37
may2022 - 38
may2022 - 39
may2022 - 40
may2022 - 41
may2022 - Historical Highlights of the GSE Industry
may2022 - 43
may2022 - 44