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ICAO 10121

Manual on Ground Handling

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Organization: ICAO
Publication Date: 1 January 2019
Status: active
Page Count: 112
scope:

The intent of this manual is to address the ground handling services that form an integral part of the aviation system and contribute directly to flight and aerodrome safety. The content of this manual provides guidance for all stakeholders involved in the ground handling of aircraft that might impact the safety of operations. This impact should be assessed locally as the hazards, risks and resulting risk management and mitigation measures may need to be tailored to specific circumstances or be site specific.

Ground handling is defined in Annex 6 - Operation of Aircraft as "services necessary for an aircraft's arrival at, and departure from, an airport, other than air traffic services". A list of these services is provided in Appendix B of this manual. Annex 14 - Aerodromes, Volume I - Aerodrome Design and Operations does not specifically refer to ground handling but contains provisions on apron management service, ground servicing of aircraft, aerodrome vehicle operations and surface movement guidance and control systems, including safety requirements relating to ground handling. Aerodrome operators have responsibilities relating to the safety of operations at the aerodrome including those that take place in the terminal area and on aircraft stands. These responsibilities also cover the provision of facilities and the protection of personnel and passengers. Organizations that provide ground handling may be subject to licensing or other authorization criteria set by the aerodrome operator.

Annex 19 - Safety Management defines safety as "the state in which risks associated with aviation activities, related to, or in direct support of the operation of aircraft, are reduced and controlled to an acceptable level". Annex 19 also defines a safety management system (SMS) as "a systematic approach to managing safety, including the necessary organizational structures, accountability, responsibilities, policies and procedures".

This manual brings together the ground handling operation and the principles of SMS to highlight safety improvements in the overall system for ground handling service providers (GHSPs) as well as air and aerodromes operators. It also provides guidance for States to assist with the inclusion of ground handling in their State safety programmes (SSP).

Ground handling services, both for commercial air transport and general aviation, aim to maintain the regularity and efficiency of flight and aerodrome operations. Ground handling services can be provided by an air operator, an aerodrome operator or an independent company. When provided by an air operator or an aerodrome operator, this entity is considered, for the purposes of this manual, as a GHSP. In such cases, the relevant interfaces, internal to the organization or as otherwise appropriate, should be established for the management of safety.

There are market and operational differences that apply for general aviation operations. The basic provisions aimed at GHSPs contained in this guidance document acknowledge these differences and consider specific provisions to accommodate them. Guidance for general aviation can be found in 3.5.

Since ground handling involves various stakeholders operating through complex interactions, guidance is provided in the next chapters for States, air operators (including general aviation), GHSPs, as well as aerodrome operators, as shown below in Table 1-1. All stakeholders shall, as a minimum, comply with the laws, regulations and procedures of those States in which their operations are conducted.

Note.- Some of the ground handling services discussed in this manual are already addressed by existing ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) or industry provisions, e.g. aircraft maintenance is covered by Annex 8 - Airworthiness of Aircraft, or aircraft fuelling is addressed in the Manual on Civil Aviation Jet Fuel Supply (Doc 9977). These other provisions should be considered in conjunction with the guidance included in this manual.

Document History

ICAO 10121
January 1, 2019
Manual on Ground Handling
The intent of this manual is to address the ground handling services that form an integral part of the aviation system and contribute directly to flight and aerodrome safety. The content of this...

References

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