Ground Handling: « Lay the ground for a safe flight »

Published on Thursday 13 June 2019
Safety is everyone’s business as a failing link in the chain may have serious consequences. In order to reduce the number of ground handling incidents and create a positive safety culture, the French Civil Aviation Authority (DSAC) has produced a video series about the ground handling impact on flight safety.

Ground handling involves multiple stakeholders, which operate within important constraints of space, time and profitability. It is a complex activity, and a source of risks that should not be underestimated.
Indeed, one weak link in the long chain of safety – incorrect marshalling, equipment left behind, fuel spillage, weight and balance error, inadequate de-icing/anti-icing, collision - even a minor one - between an aircraft and a vehicle… may have considerable impact on flight safety.
Promoting a high level of safety in this yet little regulated field requires the involvement and coordination of everyone, especially airlines, subcontractors and airport operators.

Build a common vision of the risk

Feedback is an essential tool for improving aviation safety, and strengthening safety culture is key to improve occurrence reporting.
There is a wide variety of incidents related to ground operations: incorrectly secured cargo door, undetected aircraft damage, error in the quantity of fuel delivered or improperly secured cargo are all undesirable events, some of which have had dramatic consequences.

Raise awareness and train

Along with regulation and oversight, safety promotion is one of the three pillars of the State Safety Programme implemented by the DGAC .
In order to spread a positive safety culture, the DSAC has made a video series about ground handling’s impact on flight safety.
The objective is to show that everyone has a role to play in aviation safety, using short video clips, useable by agents, instructors and managers, during training sessions as well as in break rooms.
Three risk areas are covered by 23 video clips :

  • Weight and balance, loading and securing
  • Circulation on the ramp and the aircraft stand areas
  • Approach and withdrawal of equipment  

Lay the ground for a safe flight #23 - Every alarm must be dealt with

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Developped in collaboration with aviation stakeholders, this video series promotes good practices to ensure safety during ground operations.

Find out pitfalls to avoid and behaviors to adopt for each of the following themes:
- Weight and balance, loading and securing
- Circulation on the ramp and the aircraft stand areas
- Approach and withdrawal of equipment

On the theme of "Approach and withdrawal of equipment" : Every alarm must be dealt with

Lay the ground for a safe flight.

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