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Newsletter - August 2021

Published on: 30 August 2021


Ready, set, go! In early July, the ASA working groups were launched. These committees will actively push for change and reform in our industry and are looking for ground handling experts like you to take part. 

In case you missed it,  our 5 working groups will be dedicated to safety, training, GSE, sustainability and cargo. A 6th committee for contract & legal affairs is currently in formation. These working groups are chaired by seasoned experts.

What would your participation look like for YOU? 

Alongside other motivated individuals, you will meet 1-2 times per semester, with ad hoc work between the sessions. 
The kick-off meeting for each committee will be announced shortly, but will take place in September or October. As soon as you have chosen your preferred working group, you are ready to go! 

More information about the committees and their respective chairs can be found below. 

The simple step you have to take now is email me at 

Best regards,

Fabio Gamba


The ASA safety committee aims to raise the level of safety amongst GSPs via a combination of industry standards and benchmarking. The objectives are: 

  • Set up a ground damage database tool to allow GSPs to own, compare and benchmark their operations (SID)
  • Monitor current legislative efforts (EU, ICAO)
  • Push for more airlines to implement IGOM standards without too many variances


Despite being labour-intensive, GH isn’t considered as a career opportunity. One reason is that there is no cross acceptance between GSPs, airlines or aerodromes of GSP training. The training committee's objectives are: 

  • Allow GSPs and airlines to recognise training provided by an accredited training provider
  • Provide a credible and cost-efficient alternative to, and complementary with, the current accreditation program proposed by IATA



GSEs represent the single most important source of CAPEX to GSPs. Pressures over shorter turnover times and more sustainability have a strong impact on the design and cost of GSEs. The objectives are: 

  • Establish a platform between GSPs, OEMs and 2nd hand GSE resellers to design and apply a quality standard of the GSE use and resale.
  • Promote new, low-emission GSEs
  • Identify ways for safe refurbishment of older GSEs
  • Promote best practice around second-hand market

Sustainability is the most scrutinised aspect of air transport nowadays, and the pandemic hasn’t changed that fact. 2050, once considered as an acceptable deadline for the industry to curb its emissions by 50%, is not acceptable anymore. The objectives of the sustainability committee are:

  • Propose a methodology to measure/quantify the tonnes of CO2 emitted by the GH sector
  • Draft a scheme to allow the sector reduce its CO2 emissions within a given timeframe
  • Identify concrete initiatives to help the industry reach that objective (offset, etc.)

The pandemic has shown the world that air cargo is essential. It has also allowed the sector to keep afloat by providing crucial logistics to the rapid shipment of material and vaccines all over the world. The objectives of the cargo committee are: 

Speed up digitalisation and incentivise intelligence sharing
Keep in check the ICHC and TIACA activities by proposing joint positions
Explore ways to agree on a standard contract framework between forwarders, GSPs and airlines
Consider ways to share available warehouse capacity per locations
Stay tuned for more information, coming shortly. 
Email Fabio to join a working group


The corona crisis turned the airfreight market on its head. Whilst travel restrictions and national lockdowns impeded us from travelling, air cargo demand sky rocketed. This month, we hear from someone who witnessed this boom first hand. Victor Gornak, Managing Director of VG Cargo, explains the changes he witnessed at Frankfurt Airport in Germany.  

Did Europe witness a boom in cargo activities during the pandemic?
It did. It's hard to say for the whole of Europe, but in Germany, at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, we felt a real explosion of cargo handling
needs starting off in early spring 2020. Tonnage skyrocketed by more than 100% within just a few weeks. Naturally, it was difficult to adapt so quickly, to take all “ anti-viral” security measures for our own staff and the staff of our customer airlines and to continue to serve flights around the clock. We felt a special responsibility to the public because most of the cargo was personal protection equipment, and I think we did quite well.

With time the situation has leveled off, nevertheless we have a feeling of recovery on the airline market, we hope that the market will continue to be in an upward trend in the future.

How is the air cargo handling industry adapting to new sustainability requirements? 

Adapting is something that requires ideas, time, and investment. Surely a lot was done, but there are miles of transformation ahead of us. Airlines switch to SAF and more efficient and modern aircrafts, forwarders switching to e-freight and cargo handling providers looking for better solutions in terms of wood and plastic consumption. We believe that steady, persistent steps forward in that direction will surely bring the awaited positive effect, but there should be no rush and «innovative chaos”, all the steps must be properly tested, evaluated, and only then implemented.


After a year rocked by many cancelled events, the two main ground handling conferences are back. Will you be attending? 
Let us know!


Last month, we welcomed the news that the European Commission approved compensation for Italian airports and ground handling operators for the damage suffered during the pandemics. This was an important step for the industry and we encourage other institutions to move in this same direction. 

This month ASA was represented at...

  • The EASA Rule Making Task (RMT) .0728 (attended by Fabio Gamba and five ASA members)
  • Ahead of the upcoming IATA GOG meeting on 18 August (preview the agenda here), we will hold an ASA meeting, with appointed
  • members and our 5 committee chairmen, to discuss and finalise our position. The exact date is being confirmed. 
  • Do you want to contribute to our next edition, by sharing your news, contents or announcements? Please email

Thinking about joining ASA ? Get in touch with our Team.