Day 1: 28 November 2023
Join GHI for a special ceremony to champion excellence in ground services and the all-important people who make it happen. We will be live streaming the special awards service around the world.
Launched in 2018 – the Pride of Ground Handling Awards showcase aviation teams that go the extra mile to deliver added value services to passengers and exemplify a commitment to quality, safety, teamwork and innovation.
If you are proud to work in aviation and want to help GHI hit back against the myth that ground handling is locked in a race to the bottom on price then come and join this special ceremony.
GHI invites airline leaders for a candid view of what they see as the essential components of a winning ground handling business strategy over the next five years. From fast-tracking GSE electrification to automation, how have expectations of GSPs changed post Covid and what core attributes constitute ‘the right stuff’ in the eyes of an airline customer? How do we reimagine partnerships and financial arrangement to unlock innovations on the ground and excellence at the gate.
Electric is the sustainable equipment option of choice among today’s operators who are looking to embrace more environmentally friendly equipment within their fleets. But, does hydrogen power offer a slicker and more sustainable long-term solution? This session will explore the unique performance benefits of hydrogen GSE including longer run times and faster refuelling than EV. The session will also look at the practical hurdles to hydrogen GSE adoption and whether hybrid units offer the pragmatic choice until infrastructure improves.
Rapid advances in robotics twinned with artificial intelligence are tipped to see humanoid-style robots replace humans in a vast array of labour intensive industries such as manufacturing and healthcare over the next 20 years. So, could humanoids be the answer for our own skills depleted sector? This independent presentation from the Association for Advancing Automation will assess the latest in humanoid tech and its ability to replicate complex human movements unique to the world of the apron. What are the advances in battery life, range of motion and AI on the horizon and we will we see a reduction in cost that compels operators to invest in the age of the automation?
Nearly 90% of employees say they will not work, or continue to work for, a company with a poor reputation. So, with the entire ground handling industry feeling the weight of a negative employer image, how can you stand out to find and keep talent? This hands-on workshop will provide proven, business-boosting recruitment marketing and employer branding tactics to attract job seekers and promote your unique culture. It will also help you match prospective candidates to key attributes for ramp and check-in-based roles through compelling external messaging.
A simple algorithm has been developed by Iberia Airport Services that has raised employee engagement, enhanced retention and sent KPIs soaring. This session will explore how listening to what your workforce wants and building individual preferences into the way rosters and other ground handling processes are determined can ultimately lead to a happier team member with a higher performance level.
Day 2: 29 November 2023
An exclusive session on a new regulatory framework for ground handling service providers that aims to increase the overall safety level of the aviation system and reduce the damages to aircraft and vehicles. The draft regulation proposes requirements for ground handling service providers, their oversight, and the interfaces with air operators and aerodromes where services are being provided, including the mutual exchange of relevant safety information to improve those interfaces. An organisation can only prioritise safety risks and manage its resources effectively to obtain optimal results if it has a clear understanding of its role and contribution to aviation safety according to EASA. When will the safety regulations go live and what actions will be taken for operators who fail to meet minimum standards?
The airline-handler relationship is the dominant focus of our attention when it comes to discussion over building performance enhancing ground partnerships. But, is the airport an equally influential and under-utilised ally in crafting world class safety, OTP, sustainability standards on the apron? GHI will invite senior leaders at major airports to outline how ground handling features in their pathways to operational excellence and digitisation. How do we build winning partnerships?
From GSE pooling to leadership development programmes for all resident rampies – London Luton Airport has pioneered an inclusive and pioneering approach to its GSPs. This session will explore a philosophy that sees ground handlers as ambassadors for the airport who occupy a crucial customer service point with passengers. What benefits has the airport enjoyed in terms of departure punctuality, passenger satisfaction, safety and employee engagement from going against the industry grain and what might others learn?
The typical ground handling station is awash with data from on-block arrival times, GSE utilisation and staff scheduling. How then do you identify and exploit the critical performance enhancing information from everything else? This session will offer a hands-on case study from the experiences of SATS Singapore team on how and why they decided to delve into the multitude of data being captured at their Changi operation and use it to supercharge KPIs. How is activity-based costing being linked to every airline customer’s flight and being used to improve operational efficiency and cost savings?
Why are we clinging to legacy and often contradictory security arrangements around offloading screened bags for a late-arriving passengers that incur delay, irritation and cost? What are the latest advances in GSP courier services that offer luggage pick up from passengers well before they arrive at the airport. This session will ask aviation experts to reimagine the baggage journey in a way that improves efficiency, labour conditions and increases passenger satisfaction while always guaranteeing safety.
Join us for a special Conference session in partnership with the GSE Podcast’s Matt Weitzel that will be broadcast around the world as a dedicated episode of the show. The session will unite industry stakeholders at GSPs, airlines, airports and manufacturers to debate innovation and the future of GSE. Are we on the cusp of a new era of autonomous vehicles? And will electric, hydrogen, hybrid or biofuel triumph as the primary power source for airport equipment? The panel will give their assessment.
Submit your GSE questions and you could be appearing on the GSE Podcast: email email@example.com
With employer pay deals unable to keep pace with rampant inflation, tension between union members and management has never been higher. European airports have witnessed numerous planned strike actions among multiple ground handler this summer. How do we end unhelpful stereotypes over militant workers and self-serving managers who care only about profit? What are the steps to establishing common ground between leadership teams and frontline workers that ensure we move forward together?
As the Northern hemisphere braces itself for the winter chill, GHI invites key stakeholder groups to explore the latest advances in the de-icing sector. The session will explore the latest advances in de-icing fluid technologies including hybrid systems that combine active and passive de-icing technologies. We’ll also examine new launch de-icing equipment and how rigs are embracing a more sustainable aviation age. The panel will discuss the role of stakeholder collaboration in ensuring optimum aircraft de-icing that minimises the risk of flight delays as well as looking at strategies for the efficient recovery and recycling of glycol.
Top aviation lawyer, Peter Coles will explore the topical issues facing the aviation market. The discussion will examine social media risks and who’s liable when an employee posts inappropriate and defamatory content on a WhatsApp group or Twitter feed. The session will also equip senior managers/directors with what they need to know on to get on top of regulations and litigation risks around climate change and increasing dangers of greenwashing.
Day 3: 30 November 2023
This case-study led session will detail how Air France-KLM is looking to achieve an ambitious goal to remove all emissions from ground operations by 2030. The case study will explore the use of robotic pushback vehicle TaxiBot in achieving this goal, as well as replacing diesel-powered lower-deck loaders with electrical models. How is KLM walking the talk when it comes to decarbonising the apron?
When faced with the cost challenges of sourcing viable electric alternatives to heavy duty GSE, Iberia Airport Services struck upon a novel sustainable fuel solution. This session will detail how converting hi-loaders and belts to be powered by hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) aka ‘renewable diesel’ has provided a pragmatic solution to a cost effective and more environmentally friendly turnaround. How does HPV conversion work, what are the benefits? And could HVO use be scaled up across ground handling operations?
Humans are hardwired to fear change: will AI take my job? will that new boss change my shift pattern? Given the excited discussion at this conference over digital adaptions, robotics and new fuel sources transforming the aviation environment then what should we be doing as leaders to bring our employees on board with the change programme? Why does workforce buy-in to change matter and what difference does it make at a KPI level? What can we learn from our recent past about the right way to lead aviation to thrive in changing times?
Our concluding session will explore what we mean by the all-encompassing term ‘innovation’ when it comes to ground handling. We will invite our panellists to share a range of examples of inventiveness in their operation and what tangible difference it has made to safety, service quality or GSE performance. Leadership team, manufacturer or employee: whose job is it to drive innovation?
A UK CAA report shows an 80% rise in PRM requests since 2010. Failure to provide adequate services can see stringent fines from regulators and business reputations dragged through the mire as disgruntled PRMs vent their frustrations on social media. So, how does the supply chain step up to the plate and deliver more dynamic PRM solutions? What is the role of airport authorities and how could airport processes become more PRM friendly? What equipment solutions are out there to help?