IATA Enhanced GSE Recognition Program launched at IGHC

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched the IATA Enhanced GSE Recognition Program, naming Menzies Aviation and Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl) as the first adopters.

Pictured: Hactl receives IATA Enhanced GSE certificate

The IATA Enhanced GSE Recognition Program aims to accelerate the adoption of enhanced GSE and recognises ground handlers who are modernising their fleets.

The certificates were presented at the IATA Ground Handling Conference (IGHC), which is being held in Reykjavik, Iceland from 7-9 May.

The programme is the latest action to facilitate the transition to enhanced GSE and follows the publication in late 2022 of the IATA Ground Damage Report: The Case for Enhanced Ground Support Equipment, which identified safety and sustainability benefits of using enhanced GSE.

Enhanced GSE uses anti-collision and inching technology, which improves vehicle control and increases docking accuracy.

Most enhanced GSE is electrically powered so delivers sustainability benefits over non-enhanced GSE.

Monika Mejstrikova, Director of Ground Operations at IATA, said: “The Enhanced GSE Recognition Program is another pillar of IATA's efforts to reduce ground damage by transitioning to Enhanced GSE fleets. The transition has been slow, despite well-documented gains in safety, cost-reduction and sustainability. By recognising those companies leading the evolution, we aim to accelerate this critical industry transition.”

Ground handlers who participate in the programme will have their fleets assessed and those meeting the threshold of enhanced GSE over non-enhanced GSE will receive a recognition stamp that is valid for two years.

Participation is voluntary and free of charge as IATA says it wants to improve safety without burdening ground handlers with extra costs.

IATA estimates that the annual cost of ground damage could reach $10 billion by 2035 if no action is taken.

If 75% of belt loaders, cargo loaders, passenger stairs and passenger boarding bridges are enhanced GSE, IATA estimates that the current ground damage cost per turn rate would be cut by 42%.

The IATA Airport Handling Manual (AHM) advises on the design and use of enhanced GSE as a best practice and the programme will serve as an add-on to the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO), which will include the integration of enhanced GSE into operations as of 2025.

The programme will be developed in several phases, focusing firstly on belt loaders, ULD loaders and passenger stairs, then moving on to lifting and elevating GSE that docks at aircraft doors and GSE that couples to aircraft.

Menzies Aviation receives IATA Enhanced GSE certificate

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