DGCA lays down requirements for granting safety clearance to ground handling service providers at airports : The Tribune India

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DGCA lays down requirements for granting safety clearance to ground handling service providers at airports

Ground handling services involve all activities necessary for aircraft’s arrival and departure other than air traffic control

DGCA lays down requirements for granting safety clearance to ground handling service providers at airports

Photo for representational purpose only. iStock



Tribune News Service

Vijay Mohan

Chandigarh, July 8

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has laid down requirements for granting safety clearance to ground handling service providers at airports that would ensure safety, reliability and consistency of flight operations in an increasingly complex and expanding functional environment.

“Ground handling forms a significant and critical part of the aviation industry. Larger aircraft, an increase in ground support equipment and faster turnarounds all contribute to the challenge of improving operational safety. With the growth of air traffic and the proliferation of third-party ground handling services, ground operations on airport aprons have become increasingly complex and potentially hazardous, a circular issued by DGCA on July 8 states.

“Unlike other areas of the aviation industry, the ground handling sector is currently not subjected to the level of regulation in areas such as flight operations, air traffic management and aerodrome operations. Therefore, it has become necessary to develop the requirements to achieve the operational safety at airport for aircraft operations,” the circular said while adding that apron areas are often the most congested and busiest areas of an airport with aircraft turnarounds being carried out under limited space and time constraints.

Ground handling services involve all activities necessary for an aircraft’s arrival at and departure from an airport other than air traffic control. It includes passenger and cargo handling, catering, aircraft cleaning, servicing and maintenance, refuelling, marshalling, etc, which are undertaken at the airport’s ramp or apron.

Ground handling service providers (GHSP) are required to get security clearance from the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and also have valid permission to operate from the Airports Authority of India.

Stating that GHSPs shall be responsible for the safe provisioning of services in accordance with laid down requirements and procedures, DGCA has asked them to prepare a station specific manual detailing the work processes and schedules and get it approved.

The GHSP shall appoint an accountable manager, to ensure that all activities can be financed and carried out in accordance with established protocols, a station manager responsible for day-to-day ground handling operations, and a safety manager responsible for the development, maintenance and day-to-day management of the safety management system components.

An emergency response system is to be developed and implemented by GHSPs that would be aligned with the aerodrome emergency plan and tested periodically to verify its adequacy and ensure training standards are met. All incidents or accidents are to be recorded and reported to DGCA.

The service providers should ensure an adequate number of well-trained and competent personnel based for the planned tasks, activities to be performed and commensurate with the type of aircraft operations and frequency. They will also develop, implement and maintain a structured training programme for the personnel in accordance with the requirements of the station and undertake skill upgradation and refresher courses.

 

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