Cover before the aircraft arrives at a terminal

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Last updated: April 27, 2019

Cover page                              Abstract                            Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of differentairport ground handling models.  Introduction  Every countries’ airport ground handling may differfrom one another. Majority of the countries are managing their own airportsground handling operations by either U.S model, EU model or Third-party model.This report is to show the comparison of U.S model, EU model and Third-partymodel. In addition, also discussing on Changi Airport, Singapore’s groundhandling system.

  Definethe key ground handling models are used around the world  Ground handing is one of the major key activities forairport operation. The ground handling can be defined as the myriad of servicesprovided to an aircraft in preparation for pre-take-off and post-landing of aflight. Also, not forgetting of those activities carried out before theaircraft arrives at a terminal gate, those provided during the time theaircraft is at the gate and those which are accomplished after the aircraft hasdeparted for its next flight. The ground handling varies in all the countriesand it is also not the same in multiple airports within a same country. Groundhandling operation is advancing due to increasing numbers of air travelpassenger.

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 There are three main models that are used around theworld for ground handling; U.S model, EU model and Third-party model. Below isa simplified structure of the ground handling markets.

                  Figure1: Simplified Structure Model (ec.europa.eu)  Firstly, U.S model is very different since smallportion of ground handling is performed by independent organisations. Majorityof the ground handlings carried out in the U.S is managed by dedicated airlinesuch as United Airline and American Airline. This does not mean that all U.S airportoperates this way, there are other companies out there like Swissport.

Inrecent days, Swissport Ground Handling business provides passengers and ramphandling more than 220 stations globally and also providing their services tomore than 224 million passengers in a year. In today world, Swissport is alsoknown as a huge ground handler with plenty of hubs and low-cost carrier basesinternationally. Below are some of the services Swissport provide.  Passenger Services Airport Ticketing Sales Desk Arrival and Transfer Services Check-in Services Dedicated Passenger Services Gate Services Lost and Found Services Lounge Services Special Passenger and VIP Services Aircraft Servicing and Ramp Handling Aircraft Loading/Unloading Baggage Sorting and Transportation Cabin Cleaning Crew Transport De/Anti-Icing GPU, Push-Back Unit Load Device Control Toilet and Water Services  Hence, US model basically means that the airlines areheavily involved in the ground handling activities.

The airline will provideservices and equipment for themselves. Secondly, mentioning about EU model for groundhandling, it is not the same as U.S model. Initially for EU model, airport willoperate their ground handling services by itself which is different from USmodel where airlines will run their ground handling services. This will be likea monopoly game as previously it was the norm for ground handling activities inEU airports. Most of the airlines was unsatisfied for the steep costs and thelack of quality services. Thus, the European Commission (EC) came up with rulesto reduce and try to put an end to monopolies in EU ground handling activities.EU models will be under airport authority and which they will be managed by thegovernment.

This allows free contest for most of the ground handling activatesat EU airports, leading in more options for airlines. Having more choices forairlines means that the service levels will be improved and the fares forpassenger will be lower. In addition, for those services like baggage handling,ramp handling, fuelling and freight services, the Member State might keep a capfor number of suppliers.

 Thirdly, talking about Third-party model, it will be thecombination of one airline providing ground handling service for anotherairline and independent company; can be either the airport operator, or anotherairline or an independent ground handling company providing ground handlingservice simultaneously. ASIG (Aircraft Service International Group) is one ofthe largest independent ground handling company originally established in 1947,it provides a large range of ground handling, fuelling and airport facilityservices across North America, Europe, Asia and Central America. ASIG’s parentgroup is Menzies Aviation Group.

Airports that ground handling operate by ASIGcan be seen in the figure below.                                Figure 2: Airports supplied with ground handlingservices by ASIG (Centreforaviation.com)  Hence, from the above figure we can see that ASIGprovides ground handling services to a great number of airports. Majority ofthe airports are using Third-party model for their ground handling activities,it will be more common in EU rather than in US since US uses more of theirmajor airline’s ground handling service for their airports.    Explainthe relationship between airport and airlines Previously, before World War II, there was no or lowdemand for air travel compare to post war. However, after the war, things have changedthus infrastructures and lifestyle became better.

Allowing more and morecivilians joining the Air Force which leads them to have vital skills such asflying. This resulting the evolution of leisure travel and holidays, causing thenumber of air travel passenger to increase significantly over the years. Hence,airports need to work out on their operations in order to cater for the increasingnumbers of air travel passenger. The figure below will give a rough idea on thegrowth rate of air travel increases over the decades.

             Figure3: Revenue passenger kilometres from 1945-2012 (CNN/ICAO) Airlines and Airport must work closely together as theyare interdependent. By working together, they can satisfy air passenger/consumerand will have a better prospect together. Which basically means that airportwill earn from airlines, whereas for airlines they will earn from air passengers.Airport will earn their profits from airlines by the costs and charges that airlineshave to pay for.

Some examples will be: ·       Useof runways and landing fees·       Securitycharges·       Passengerduty·       Parkingand boarding access charges·       AirTraffic Control·       Environmentalcharges, etc.On the contrary, for airlines, they will earn theirprofits from air travellers/cargo suppliers. Thus, both airport and airlines havecommon interest like quality services for air passenger, flights that depart orarrive on time, facilities and cost that can be improved on to meet passengers’expectation. Hence, airport and airlines have to work hand-in-hand as their reputationis interdependent.Incheon international airport will be a great exampleof how they meet their objective and successes the challenges.

As of December 2015,they have approximately 90 airlines running at the airport, connecting 186 citiesin 54 countries. Hence, the airport could name itself as the hub of internationalair transportation in Northeast Asia.In addition, airport can improve their relationshipwith airlines by cutting down the operational cost, at the same time still providingthe same or higher quality of service. This can be done by having more Third-partyground handling companies and allowing airlines to have their own preferencefor their Third-party ground handling company. Better Third-party groundhandling company might help the airlines to save ground activities time, which allowsflights to depart on time. This resulting airline to save cost and having moreprofits at the same time.

  Discussthe advantages and disadvantages of different airport ground handling models U.S mode

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