G R O U N D H A N D L I N G
already work to IS-BAH industry standards and these should
already meet the EASA standards.”
Szonyi says, “We are committed to analyzing and
promoting the use of existing industry standards. We don’t
want to duplicate what already exists and change what
already works well. The intention is to add to them or enable
the use of the standards that already exist in the industry.
A major question that EASA’s Basic Regulation is yet to
resolve exists around business aviation companies which
have multiple locations. The concern is that GHSPs (ground
handling service partners) may have to declare their
capability to discharge their tasks and submit a declaration
to the aviation authority of each different country in which
they operate. The administration of this will be onerous.
A proposed solution is for GHSPs to submit only in
the country which hosts their principal place of business.
Szonyi says, “We will try to create a system where the
submittal goes as smoothly as possible. That there is a
single repository of declaration, where it is submitted once
Right: Further liberalization of
ground handling services in
Europe is intended to create
a better market for business
aviation firms to operate in
58 | BU S INE S S A I R P O RT INT E RNAT I ONA L A P R I L 2 0 2 0
and then it is distributed to all member states. But the
declarations for different aerodromes may be different.
“Another possibility is for EASA to take over responsibility
of being the competent authority if there is more than one
member state involved. But the member states have to agree
that EASA becomes the competent authority.”
While EASA’s regulations cover Europe, there has been
work on developing standards for ground handling at
an international level by the International Civil Aviation
Organization. ICAO Document 10121 was released at the
end of November 2019. It lists industry standards that are
currently applicable as guidance for states, including IS-BAH
for business aviation.
Terry Yeomans, IS-BAH program director, has been
involved in the development of standards at ICAO and
sits on the panel of experts consulting with EASA about
ground handling safety. He says there is a strong desire for
the standards to be the same at regional and international
levels. He says, “We spent four years drafting the document
for ground handling regulations and we don’t want EASA to
have to reinvent the wheel. They are considering the existing
work and building on it to account for regional differences.”
According to Yeomans, the ICAO and the EASA
definitions of what is classed as ground handling service
provider is expanding, from more than FBOs to include
caterers and flight dispatch. This means people may find
the standards apply to them who do not expect them to.
International trip support providers may fall into this category.
“I would urge people to engage with their national authority,
find out what they are looking for regarding this upcoming
regulation and see if they will accept the current industry
standards or something else from you,” Yeomans says.
“These changes are not a case of may or may not
happen. It is going to happen – even if EASA don’t do
it, we are already working on the ICAO regulations on an
international level. There will be oversight of ground handling
in the next few years” he adds.
“We spent four years
drafting the document
for ground handling
regulations and we
don’t want EASA to have
to reinvent the wheel”
Terry Yeomans, IS-BAH program director