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Ground handling-related work streams

In context of ground handling (GH), there are several works streams in which ERA has been involved in order to keep its members up-to-date and to represent their interests. ERA was invited to participate in the GH working group meeting under the SSDC for the first time; and at the end of February took part in an expert meeting at which EASA gathered GH experts to identify all the safety-related activities which will be included in the GH regulation. ERA also feeds into the ex-post evaluation Steer is conducting with the aim to map the current GH situation in Europe.

During the latest meeting of the GH working group - that operates under the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC) - it was discussed that all areas of aviation remain on the agenda: contribution to the evaluation by the Commission of Directive 96/67, legal assessment of Directive 2001/23, dialogue on baggage weight considerations and air pollution in airports. Two topics will however have a special focus: training and staff transfer in ground handling and violence against women in aviation in combination with the problem of disruptive passengers. The next meeting of the working group is scheduled to take place on 12 May in Brussels.

At the end of February EASA gathered authority, airline, handling and association representatives for an expert meeting to clarify some concepts and agree on the way forward (e.g. declaration, oversight, scope, operational procedures, performance-based rules, prescriptive requirements, etc.), further to identify all the safety-related activities which will be included in the GH regulation (that will be structured analogous to the aerodrome regulation and to the AMS regulation). Clarifying the approach to the authority and training requirements as well as operational procedures was also on the agenda. The next expert meeting is scheduled for 3-4 June in Cologne.

Being tasked by the European Commission, consultancy Steer is working on an ex-post evaluation to map the very diverse current situation in Europe regarding GH (the market ranges from full liberalisation to rather closed markets), without the aim of modifying the EC proposal from 2011. ERA is supporting this evaluation (which will be published towards the end of the year) by giving inputs related to GH operations of its members who operate at the five airports selected by the Commission for a case study (Brussels, Rome, Warsaw, Munich and Amsterdam). Steer will also shortly launch the ex-post evaluation on rights of PRMs in air and a study on analysing inter-modal transport usage, involving all modes of transport. Further information on this work will be given at the next IAG meeting on 1 April.