May 19, 2024
English TKP News

Benefits of incorporating advanced ground handling equipment

Utilizing anti-collision and approach technology, they improve vehicle control and increase docking precision, minimizing the risk of personal and aircraft damage

The need to incorporate advanced GSEs is detailed in a recently published IATA study that estimates that the annual cost of ground damage could double to nearly $10 billion by 2035 unless preventative measures are taken. The forecast cost of damage on land is based on direct costs (including labor and material costs, temporary rental costs, logistics costs and administrative costs) and indirect costs (loss of income, costs transfer of crews and passengers, compensation costs for delays in services, etc.). The study concludes that:

  • most ground damage that occurs once the aircraft is parked is caused by the impact of the GSE against the aircraft’s fuselage;
  • the ground damage rate of wide-body aircraft is ten times that of narrow-body aircraft, but jet, turboprop and narrow-body aircraft are 30% more likely to sustain serious damage on the ground;
  • conveyor belts, freight elevators, passenger stairs and passenger boarding bridges (PBB) cause 40% of all incidents (source: IATA ground damage incident database);
  • transitioning 75% of the global fleet’s conveyor belts, freight elevators, passenger escalators and PBBs to advanced GSEs would reduce the current projected cost of rotational ground damage by 42% (IATA estimate).

“The transition to advanced GSEs, with anti-collision technology is an obvious necessity. We have proven technology that can improve safety and should be adopted imminently given the increasing costs of ground damage across the industry. The challenge now is to develop a roadmap for all partners to agree on the transition,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Security.


In addition to reducing the cost of ground damage, the transition to advanced GSEs will also support the industry’s commitment to reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, as most new equipment runs on electrical power.

“Most advanced GSEs run on electrical power, making them cleaner and more energy efficient. While aviation decarbonization efforts are primarily focused on how aircraft are powered, you can’t ignore what’s happening on the ground. Transitioning to advanced GSE will help our industry achieve its highest safety and sustainability priorities,” said Careen.

Transition and ISAGO

IATA will work with its industry partners to implement strategies, objectives and programs that will drive the adoption of Advanced GSE. The IATA Ground Handling Handling (AHM) Manual advises the design and use of GSE Collision Avoidance Systems (Advanced GSE) as one of best practices, and many airlines and ground handling companies are already seeing the first benefits.

Global standards have always played a prominent role in aviation’s commitment to safety. The IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) has sparked renewed interest among airlines, with 55 airlines enrolling in the ISAGO audit and reporting data sharing program by 2022. Based At IATA’s AHM, ISAGO provides the auditable framework for safe ground operations, and is continuously updated as technology evolves, including the soon to be integrated with advanced GSE operations.

Other recommendations for the transition:

  • GSE owners must develop business plans to transition their fleets to advanced GSEs.
  • Ground Handling Service Providers (GHSPs) must be prepared to integrate advanced GSEs into their fleets (training and processes).
  • Airlines should work with GHSPs to use advanced GSEs during aircraft servicing and apply incentives that increase penetration of advanced GSEs into GHSP fleets.
  • Aircraft manufacturers and GSEs must continue to collaborate to ensure that GSEs can operate safely and efficiently around aircraft.
  • States should study policies and strategies to encourage the use of advanced GSEs.

Source: Twitter @IATA

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