The word ground handling in aviation refers to the broad range of services offered to enable an aircraft flight or aircraft ground repositioning, in advance of and after a flight, and will typically comprise both customer service and ramp service functions. The phrase describes the maintenance and handling of aircraft, whether they are in the air or on the ground, such as when they are parked at an airport. These services include passenger service, catering, ramp service, and cabin service, among others. Additionally, ground handling includes all services between the time the plane arrives and when it departs. The less ground time there is, the more beneficial it is for the service provider. Similar to how speed, efficiency, and precision play a key role in decreasing an aircraft’s travel time.
Because departments like human resources, accounting, and vehicle maintenance are already in place to support ground handling operations, airports that choose to participate are likely to experience some synergies. In order to give each new hire a variety of tasks, management may decide to cross-train its staff. For instance, workers employed for ground handling could assist with specialized maintenance tasks during slack times or times of seasonal traffic. The new business venture might be supported by a variety of departments, but management must take into account the effect on the staff of the increased effort and obligations that come with running a quick-paced company.
Flights can land and take off on time thanks to ground handling, which also makes sure that boarding cards are provided correctly, that your bags are security-checked before being put onto the appropriate aircraft, and that all boarding passes are distributed as intended.
Service level agreements (SLAs) compel ground handlers to meet departure punctuality goals, frequently with significant financial incentives attached. Their top objective is on-time performance (OTP), but they have limited resources to work with. Ground handlers are able to arrange their operation using evolving tactical knowledge rather than a very erratic schedule thanks to arrival time predictability.
Numerous commercial airports across the nation are renowned for putting new business models into place in order to increase revenue and reduce reliance on conventional sources like landing fees and leasing space. One of these creative ideas is to offer ground handling services to airlines for a profit. In addition to the potential financial prospects, this proposal has a number of benefits.
When on the ground, some sort of outside aircraft support is frequently required. Depending on the plane and the airport, this will change. It might only need to be signaled and brought to a standstill, or it might need a tow, an escort, and jetway management. These kinds of services frequently go unnoticed until there is a problem. Since several of these components are necessary even only to be able to operate an airplane, strikes or a lack of staff can result in considerable delays. This is best illustrated by taking a look at the delays and commotion that were present in numerous places in the early years. Travel immediately resumed, but there were still personnel shortages. A major issue at many airports, despite the fact that airlines were primarily to blame for this, was a shortage of ground services.