dnata has welcomed the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s recent proposal to regulate ground handling across all EU airports.
Upon implementation, EASA’s regulation will establish a more standardised environment, which will help enhance safety, operational delivery, cybersecurity and consistency within the region, the ground handler stated.
Praising the move as a “significant milestone”, Steve Allen, CEO of dnata Group, said: “All industry stakeholders will benefit from the implementation of minimum standards for quality and safety.
“This initiative also aligns with our ongoing efforts to deliver consistent world-class services at every airport across our operations.
“We will continue to engage with EASA and our partners to further enhance safety, operational efficiency and passenger experience throughout the airport journey.
“We encourage and trust that other aviation authorities will consider adopting the same approach to foster regulatory measures in their respective regions.”
Until now, the ground handling industry has largely operated under self-regulation with operational arrangements, including safety considerations, primarily addressed in bilateral service agreements between ground handling service providers and the respective aircraft operators.
EASA’s regulatory proposal is expected to be published later this year or early in 2025. The body suggests a three-year transition period for implementation after its proposal has been released.
But dnata is not the only handler to welcome the news. It joins the Airport Services Association and Swissport in calling for greater standardisation of airport operational procedures.
Last week, Warwick Brady, president and CEO of Swissport, told ARGS: “Swissport welcomes EASA’s proposal for the implementation of ground handling regulations across Europe.
“The regulations will ensure a better standard of operations and will help reinforce the critical role that ground handling plays in aviation safety.
“Together with EASA and ASA, we must make sure the regulations provide a level playing field for ground handlers to deliver safe and sustainable operations that support the wider ESG agenda of the aviation industry.
“We now encourage other national authorities to implement the same requirements to deliver a truly global set of standards.”
The new regulation would aim to ensure an efficient approach on the oversight of ground handling organisations by “competent authorities” [civil aviation authorities], therefore hoping to “avoid multiple verifications of the same activities and organisational aspects and gradually reduce the significant number of audits performed mostly by aircraft operators”, according to EASA.
This would require ground handling organisations and self-handling aircraft operators performing commercial air transport operations to self-declare that they comply with the EU requirements.
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