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Ground Handling


Focus 92_Anti-Collision Warning Beacons
EASA GH Conference Report.pdf
GHOST 47 Post Meeting Pack.pdf

Latest update March 2020


Please see the download section on the top right hand corner of this page to read the overview of this section and scroll down the page to read the latest updates on ERA's activities and position.

ERA’s Current Position

ERA continues to monitor any regulatory proposals regarding ground handling.

The Directorate regularly attends the UK’s Ground Handling Operations Safety Team (GHOST), a multi-disciplined group set up by the UK Civil Aviation Authority and industry stakeholders to mitigate the safety risks from ground handling along with the support of numerous activities.  The group agrees approaches which could be in the form of a new high profile initiative or project, and provides clarity or enhanced guidance to an existing regulation, policy or procedure.


Latest update March 2020: Being tasked by the European Commission, consultancy Steer is working on an ex-post evaluation to map the very diverse current situation in Europe regarding GH (the market ranges from full liberalisation to rather closed markets), without the aim to modify the EC proposal from 2011. ERA is supporting this evaluation (which will be published towards the end of the year) by giving inputs related to GH operations of its members who operate at the five airports selected by the Commission for a case study (Brussels, Rome, Warsaw, Munich and Amsterdam). Steer will also shortly launch the ex-post evaluation on rights of PRMs in air and a study on analysing inter-modal transport usage, involving all modes of transport.

On 26-27 February EASA gathered authority, airline, handling and association representatives for a second expert meeting to clarify some concepts and agree on the way forward (e.g. declaration, oversight, scope, operational procedures, performance-based rules, prescriptive requirements, etc.), further to identify all the safety-related activities which will be included in the GH regulation (that will be structured analogous to the aerodrome regulation and to the AMS regulation). Clarifying the approach to the authority and training requirements as well as operational procedures was also on the agenda. The next expert meeting is scheduled for 3-4 June in Cologne.

During the latest meeting of the GH working group on 24 January - that operates under the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC) - it was discussed that all areas of aviation remain on the agenda: contribution to the evaluation by the Commission of Directive 96/67, legal assessment of Directive 2001/23, dialogue on baggage weight considerations and air pollution in airports. Two topics will however have a special focus on: training and staff transfer in ground handling and violence against women in aviation in combination with the problem of disruptive passengers. The next meeting of the working group is scheduled to take place on 12 May in Brussels.

24/01/2020: The 47th meeting of GHOST was held in Leeds, UK on 4-5 December 2019. The meeting covered numerous ground handling issues, including updates from the GHOST subgroups, training for hazard perception, the insider threat, reducing aircraft/GSE damage and a safety ‘swap shop’. In addition, the GHOSTWATCH session provided a round-up of notable industry ground operations-related events.  The meeting pack is now available to view via the downloads section.

04/04/2019:  With ground handling falling under EASA’s remit as part of the revised Basic Regulation, a conference was held on 7 March 2019 in Cologne to discuss how the agency can implement the necessary regulatory steps. The conference was formulated around six main areas; SMS, Operational Standards, Regulatory Oversight, Ground Support Equipment, Staff Turnover and Training. A summary of the conference is available to view via the Downloads section.


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