Ground handling constitutes an integral and inalienable part of any airlines’ business and it is one of the main and unique, selling propositions of the airlines differentiating the services provided by one particular airline from their competitors. The ground handling services are aimed at providing a hassle free experience to the passengers and are akin to providing hospitality services. Essentially, ground handling is an essential service that is required by an aircraft operator before take-off and after landing.
In India, the Director General of Civil Aviation issued Aeronautical Information Circular in 2007 granting the permission to the ground handling agencies to provide ground handling services, as a joint venture with the national carrier and/or AAI, apart from the existing GHS providers – the Air India/Indian Airlines. Due to security concerns at Indian airports, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security has made it mandatory for all ground handling service providers to undergo security clearance and background checks of its employees before issuing the airport entry pass.
This Aviation Roundup discusses the Civil Aviation Requirements regarding ground handling service providers, the evolution of legal requirements and the existing legal framework. It provides elaborate information regarding the training requirements, safety management system, reporting system, ground handling system, annual reporting and so on.
It also tries to discuss why ground handling is not getting the attention it should have received from foreign players. Though there is 100% FDI in Ground Handling Services markets, but it remains economically regulated as the prices are allowed to range within the maximum cap set by the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority.
The latest notification segment discusses the notification regarding the procedures and requirements to be complied with for installation of airborne communication, navigation and radar equipment in aircraft and the minimum flight crew requirements.