The IATA Ground Handling Conference takes place this year in Qatar over four days from 22nd April. Top speakers and industry experts will be addressing some key issues facing the industry, discussing ways to maximise the opportunities amid the challenges across ground handling services.
- Ensuring sustainability in a growing industry
The IATA has forecast that airlines are planning to increase capacity by around 5.7%, with load factors rising to a new high of 81.4%. These increases raise questions for ground handling services about safety, standardisation and efficiency. During the IATA Conference, a panel of airline executives from Dnata Emirates, British Airways, the AS and Lufthansa will discuss the challenges and opportunities to sustain and grow airlines responsibly and the role of ground handling services in the future.
- Reducing ground handling incidents
Ground handling incidents are rising worldwide, causing injuries to ground handling personnel and damage to aircraft and property. To reduce these accidents, improving the use of airside vehicles to ensure optimum delivery and safety can reduce operational disruption. It involves different parts of ground handling teams working together effectively to promote efficient and safe ground handling operations within an established safety culture. Using appropriate safety management systems and focussing on continuous improvement will help to achieve optimum standards.
- Overcoming the challenges of increasing air traffic
Airport management face a series of challenges from increasing air traffic. The challenges of apron congestion and the pressure to provide automated terminals, hassle-free security, sustainable buildings and environmental protection, along with efficient passenger transportation systems, parking facilities and city transfer options are ongoing challenges for airports worldwide. Airlines and ground service providers need to understand the airport readiness for these changes and the challenges they pose for airport management.
- Reducing aircraft damage
In 2016, the IATA introduced Aircraft Damage Prevention Requirements and a session at this year’s conference will look at the progress made since. Ground Support Equipment (GSE) and operations cause 47% of all aircraft ground damage, so a programme was developed to enhance GSE with modern technology. Today, a standard has almost been decided on, with aircraft and GSE docking alignment markings for aircraft and manufacturers adding sensors and auto-navigating systems to their equipment. This new technology is helping to reduce aircraft damage, but ground handlers require training to effectively use the equipment.
- Adapting systems and adopting technology to meet customer demand
Passengers are demanding more from their travel experiences and want to be actively involved in the pre and post flight parts of their journeys. These demands result in increased automation and implementation of new technology to collect real-time information to accurately inform passengers. These changes affect the way ground handlers are adapting the services they offer, requiring them to look again at their business models in a constantly evolving market.
Contego Aviation Solutions offers a comprehensive range of safety and workwear products that meet the rigours of the working day for airside personnel in airport ground services and is constantly innovating to provide for the evolving needs of the ground service teams.
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