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Newsletter - October 2021Published on: 31 October 2021
ASA'S MESSAGE OF THE MONTH
We did it again! ASA is now ready to launch its sixth working group on legal affairs. Together with the existing five committees launched in July (training, GSE, sustainability, safety and cargo), our latest committee will support change and reform in our industry.
The ASA Legal Affairs Committee aims to equip the Association and its Members with legal expertise and ensure that license and contract standards allow the thriving of safe and financially viable GSP services worldwide. Our 6th committee will be chaired by ATS’ Chief Operating Officer, Ingrid Braeuninger.
If legal affairs is something you might be interested in, do not hesitate to join our legal
affairs working group. Like all other ASA committees, the group will meet 1-2 times per semester, with additional ad-hoc meetings between the sessions.
The committee’s kick-off meeting will be announced shortly and will take place sometime in October or November.
If you are ready to join, please email:
CATCHING UP WITH ASA'S WORKING GROUPS
This month, four of our committees have met for the first time. The fruitful discussions, attended by many ASA members, have already led to tangible outcomes. The following summaries will help you stay up-to-date with the latest developments.
ASA's Sustainability Committee
After a quick tour de table, it was agreed that a methodology to calculate the sector’s CO2 emissions was called for. It was however agreed that for the time being, only CO2 emissions under scope 1 and 2 (and thus excl. scope 3) would be taken into account. The Committee also agreed that a clear distinction between collecting the input and determining what to do with the input should be established.
The bulk of the discussion then concentrated on how this could apply universally, given the differences amongst GSPs in terms of services, countries served, etc. There was agreement around the fact that, ideally, a single methodology allowing GSPs to calculate their CO2 emissions based on their effective CO2 emissions irrespective of their services would need to be proposed.
Therefore, it was decided that:
- The Committee will initiate a shared platform for the exchange of data, input, etc.;
- The participants will share their respective CO2 calculation methods, KPIs, etc.;
- The participants will look at available credible sources of electricity conversion into CO2 metrics;
- Chairman and DG will work on a synthesis of the various methodologies received for next meeting;
ASA's GSE Committee
The Committee agreed that one of its objectives was the promotion of greener, low-emissions, GSEs around the world. To this aim, the first step would be a mapping of the stations/authorities’ current and future GSE requirements and offers and the electric and/or alternative fuels capacity they propose. The question of the definition of GSEs was posed. The Committee agreed the best solution was not to reinvent the wheel and use the definition proposed by IATA.
It determined that such a best practice would enable ASA to launch a campaign against authorities that either go a step too far (e.g. AENA in Spain), or that are lacking any specific policy.Related to the question of the greening of ground ops via new, low-emissions GSEs, the Committee agreed that the question of refurbishment, and notably the drafting of an ASA’s proposed best practice policy, was also of crucial importance.
Hence, the following decisions were made:
- Draft the questions that will enable ASA to collect the information regarding the Authorities’ restrictions and help measures regarding GSEs;
- Circulate the survey containing the questions to the widest possible audience, beyond ASA’s membership (incl. IAEMA, ACI-World, non-ASA GSPs, etc.) and collect their input -
- Establish an ASA GSE’s Teams platform to store all the information;
- Prepare arguments for a sensible refurbishment policy in view of drafting an ASA’s own best practice position.
ASA's Training Committee
The Committee approved the high-level objective to create an industry’s training validation programme, one that aims at recognising the skills and qualifications of employees whilst in their current jobs and after transfers.
After an insightful discussion, participants agreed that the Committee should focus on:
1. Draft of an ASA training validation programme. It shall refer to the AHM 1110 and shall hence aim at the recognition, and backing, of IATA.
2. Draft of the selection process of an independent auditor and the list to check and validate the candidate GSPs which are looking for accreditation.
3. Signature of an agreement with IATA if at all possible to seek for its recognition, if not outright support, of the training validation programme.
4. Communications campaign to spread out the word and promote the low-cost highly-reliable program to as many stakeholders as possible.
ASA's Cargo Committee
The Committee discussed and reviewed its main pain points, and identified some where it was thought having a common approach under ASA would bring added-value, ranging from digitalization, representation at various bodies (incl. IATA CHC) and other such topics.
When asked about narrowing down the scope and aiming at identifying concrete avenues and action items, the Committee focused on such topics as lithium and Cargo iQ. (Influencing) Cargo iQ was picked up by the participants as the one topic that summed up quite neatly both the pain points identified so far.
It was eventually agreed that the CiQ represented the perfect platform where short- and longer-term benefits could be achieved for the GHA community. It was also hailed as potentially being a win-win for all stakeholders. This however pre-supposed that 1) there was a wide support from the ASA ground handling community, and that 2) a list of priorities and tasks would be drafted. The participants suggested that such a list be drafted via a survey that the ASA Secretariat would circulate.
Therefore, the following decisions were made:
- Draft list of questions to identify key questions to bring to CiQ Board’s attention;
- Circulate survey to ASA members and cargo participants;
- Meet before year’s end to build up on survey’s results and prepare for 1Q CiQ Board.
MONTHLY REGIONAL INTERVIEW - Africa
The Skyway Aviation Handling Company PLC (SAHCO) is a Nigerian Public Liability Company. It ensures that Ground Handling assignment is carried out in an efficient, speedy and safe manner. SAHCO suffered from the COVID-19 crisis but it is slowly recovering. Basil Agboarumi, Managing Director and CEO of SAHCO, explains.
Has the African Ground Handling Sector recuperated from the crisis?
Aviation Ground Handling is yet to get back to how it was pre-COVID but the situation is a lot better than how it used to be at the height of the pandemic.
As a company, Skyway Aviation Handling Company PLC survived the lockdown due to the operation of our Cargo terminal. When the lockdown was eased off, operations started picking up gradually especially when foreign airlines and domestic airlines increased their frequencies, two months after the lifting of the lockdown our staff who had been redundant due to the lockdown were asked to return.
Also, due to the advent of the vaccines, a lot of people are confident to travel, this has helped to encourage Airlines to increase their frequencies compared to pre-COVID.
It is still a work in progress but with time, we believe things will get even better than it used to be.
Did you receive state support throughout the crisis? If so, how was this beneficial?
The Nigerian Federal government approved 5 billion Naira for Aviation in a bid to cushion the effect of the pandemic. Airlines were given 4 billion Naira while 1 billion Naira was designated to aviation agencies.
SAHCO as a stakeholder got a share of the 1 billion Naira, though it was small, we still appreciate the Federal government for it. We had to bear a lot of cost during the pandemic from paying salaries of staff that were not working due to the lockdown, to the training of all employees sensitising them on preventive measures of curtailing the virus, to procuring appropriate PPEs, and also to ensuring that there are no power outages especially at the warehouses especially for temperature sensitive cargo.
If not for the revenue received from Cargo during the pandemic, we would have had to close our business. It was really a tough time for us.
ASA WELCOMES ITS NEWEST MEMBERS
In the past two months, ASA has welcomed three new members. These include ABC (Air Business Corporation), Weihai Guangtai Airport Equipment and Serenity Sky.
Air Business Corporation is a proud member of ASA. Herve Gueusquin, CEO of ABC, explains what this membership means for his association.
What do you do at Air Business Corporation?
Air Business Corporation is the the Swiss knife of aviation. We do not only provide GSE solutions to airlines, airports and ground handlers but we also offer a range of different services, from consultancy to training.
I consider training an essential component of our work. Air Business College offers more than 100 courses dedicated to Ground Support. These courses cover all types of airport jobs.
Through our Air Business GSE services we buy, sell, refurbish and maintain ground service equipment. In addition, our Consultancy services offer advice in preparing IOSA and ISAGO audits, implementing Safety Management Systems (SMS), for airline and GHA startups. We also have a business charter service that sources the best aircraft for any travel needs.
What are your expectations as an ASA member?
As an ASA member, we hope for expertise and solutions. We look forward to learning from the expertise of the association to help us in our day-to-day business.
Guangtai is the leading GSE manufacturer in China and one of ASA’s newest members. Ben Xu, Director of International Business Development at Guangtai, tells us about his expectations as an ASA member.
What do you do at Guangtai?
Guangtai was founded in 1991, focusing mainly on GPU. Since then, the company has grown immensely, becoming the leading GSE manufacturer in China covering many areas, from cargo to passenger services.
I have been with Guangtai for ten years and worked as Director of International Business Development since 2018. I am in charge of the imports and exports of key components for our products, which are manufactured from our key suppliers in other countries, such as Europe and the US. However, my role is not limited to this; I also help our domestic market team to explore more alternatives and potential solutions for customers in China. Proximity and attention to clients are key to our business.
Since I have been in this role, together with our senior management team, Guangtai’s footprint has grown around the globe. Our main market nowadays is Asia-Pacific followed by Africa, Middle East, Europe and South America. This continous growth also means we have to stay ahead of the curve, when it comes to new developments in the ground handling industry. Indeed, since 2013, sustainability has been at the heart of our activities. We are producing more green and “intelligent” products.
What are your expectations as an ASA member?
We see the Association as a platform that covers a broad range of aspects of the industry we work in, including ground handling and manufacturing. We hope to tap into ASA’s wealth of knowledge and learn from the many industry data points that ASA has gathered over the years. As an East Asia member, we are of course willing to bring our own point of view, which we believe will encourage further growth in the industry around the world.
Additionally, we believe that being recognised by ASA as a major player in the GSE manufacturing industry will help promote WG in additional markets, bringing our extensive range of equipment to the attention of more ground handling providers around the world. We also hope that by working together that our innovative approach to the industry, including what we’re doing in the environmentally friendly areas of electric power, sustainable manufacturing, and quality control will further enhance our excellent reputation that we already hold in our existing markets.
ASA ON SOCIAL MEDIA
How can the UK government support the ground handlers to build back better after the pandemic? This month, we sent a letter to Robert Courts, the UK Minister for Aviation & Maritime asking for more support for British ground handlers in the aftermath of the pandemic.
This month ASA was represented at...
- IATA GOG/3 (attended by Fabio Gamba, on 18 Aug 2021)
- EC Technical Briefing on aviation taxonomy criteria (attended by Fabio Gamba, on 3 Sep 2021)
- ASA Safety Committee-SID (attended by Fabio Gamba, on 7 Sep 2021)
- EASA RMT.0728 on GH SOP (attended by Fabio Gambia, on 13 Sep 2021)
ASA welcomes three new members:
Air Business Corporation creates successful solutions to address the immediate challenges and long-term aspirations of airlines around the world. ABC helps optimize and upgrade Airlines, Ground Service Providers and Airport Operators businesses. From Training to GSE, or pre-audit assesment to documentation, Air Business Associates aim to reliable and cost-efficient solutions.
Serenity Sky has extensive experience in aeronautical operations, which is why they can provide any client with high quality results. Their services include consulting, auditing, development of technical documentation and training.
Guangtai is one of the leading GSE manufacturers in the world. The company provides one-stop GSE solutions for all aircraft handling requirements, from the smaller regional aircraft through to the largest passenger and freight aircraft. As a result, Guangtai products are in use with the world’s leading ground handling companies in over 60 countries around the globe.
ACI/ASA memorandum of cooperation
ASA and ACI (Airport Council International) have signed a memorandum of cooperation. The cooperation focuses on the importance of ground handling safety and efficiency for the aviation system and the traveling public, including the overall sustainability of the industry.
Within this framework, the two organisations will seek to:
- Identify potential areas of safety and operational improvements;
- Identify other areas of common interest (e.g. in the domains of sustainability, social an workforce issues);
- Establish jointly produced guidance and recommendations; and
- Participate in each other’s relevant safety of operations committees.