Have you ever wondered about the personnel assisting you at the airport and why they might not be employees of the airline you’re flying with? Do you question how they all work together despite representing different entities? In this blog, we’ll unravel the mystery behind this common curiosity and shed light on the vital role of Ground Handling Companies (GHCs), also known as Ground Service Providers (GSPs) or Ground Handling Agents (GHAs), in the aviation industry.


The Role of Ground Handling Companies 

Ground Handling Companies play a pivotal role in aviation by providing qualified personnel and ground equipment to assist airlines during aircraft turnaround. Multiple GHCs are often involved in the efficient operation of just one aircraft at a time. In fact, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that airlines outsource more than 50% of ground handling at airports worldwide.

The Global Market for Ground Handling 

The global airport ground and cargo handling services market has been on the rise, with a value of USD 35.23 billion in 2022 and projected growth to USD 39.91 billion in 2023 and USD 81.83 billion in 2030. North America, in particular, boasts a significant market share due to hosting major airports and a surge in travel following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Impact on Travelers 

For the average traveler, these arrangements have no direct impact on their travel experience. All ground handling employees undergo rigorous training and certification to represent the airline in various roles. Ground Handling Companies enter agreements with airlines covering employees, operational functions, training, service standards, and safety compliance.

Scope of Aviation Ground Handling Services 

Aviation ground handling encompasses a wide range of services, including customer service, security functions, baggage assistance, cabin cleaning, and more. Ground Service Providers adhere to strict licenses, certifications, and audits to meet airline and regulatory requirements.

Why Airlines opt for Ground Handling Companies 

Given the aviation industry’s financial challenges, many airlines find outsourcing ground handling services cost-effective. This model allows them to hire employees based on aircraft ground times and operational needs, making it suitable for airports with varying flight frequencies.

Operations of Ground Handling Companies 

Ground handling companies, often employing a large workforce, support multiple airlines in 24/7 operations. Their streamlined orientation and training programs enable cross-utilization of qualified employees across airlines, ensuring safety, punctuality, and accuracy remain top priorities.

The complexity of aviation ground handling involving multiple entities working together within tight time constraints is indeed impressive. Next time you travel, take a moment to appreciate the dedication and coordination of these professionals in ensuring your flight’s safe and smooth departure.