29/07/2020 Provision of ground handling services at aerodromes following COVID-19 outbreak
The new SIB published by EASA (SIB 2020-13) is addressed to competent authorities and aerodrome operators with the aim of ensuring with respect to ground handling following the outbreak of COVID-19.
The set of proposed recommendations is meant to ensure that the provision of ground handling services provided to aircraft operators and at the aerodromes that fall under the scope of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 (The Basic Regulation) is available and does not affect the safety of aerodrome operations.
22/11/2019 Development of requirements
With the Basic Regulation, ground handling (GH) services are now included among the aviation domains with a significant safety relevance that are regulated at European Union (EU) level. Annex VII to the Basic Regulation establishes the essential requirements for ground handling service providers (GHSPs). EASA, in order to address the requirements stemming from the Basic Regulation, has established a roadmap that consists of three phases: fact-finding, definition of the scope of the roadmap, and implementation of actions.
The provision of GH services is an area where a number of occurrences take place, which result to damage to aircraft and equipment, injuries or even death and have a significant cost impact on aircraft operators, aerodrome operators and GHSPs. Furthermore, undetected or unreported errors and damages during the provision of GH services can affect the aircraft’s load and balance, aerodynamics, airworthiness and performance, having thus a direct impact on flight safety.
So far, the provision of GH services has been subject either to national regulations or to voluntary compliance with industry standards and indirectly regulated through the Air Operations regulation. This situation has led to an inconsistent approach throughout the EU, against EASA’s goal of harmonising regulations.
The objective of this Rukemaking task (ToR RMT.0728) is to maintain a high level of safety, ensure a level playing field and support the free movement of persons and services in the EU, by establishing a regulatory framework for the provision of GH services, but also by identifying the necessary safety promotion actions and research activities to support implementation.
In addition, this RMT will incorporate RMT.0705 ‘Addition of a new requirement for the handling of dangerous goods at aerodromes’ to establish requirements for the aerodrome operators for developing methods for the delivery, storage, dispensing, and handling of dangerous goods at the aerodrome, which has been discontinued as a standalone RMT and is considered relevant to this task.
We recommend all Ground Handling agencies, operators and others that directly face ground handling activities to fully engage with the rulemaking activity.