Airports are one of those types of places that don’t make any sense, or, at least, to the untrained eye they don’t. For all the chaos that happens in the terminals, especially around security screening and luggage claims, the chaos of the tarmac seems so much worse. In fact, the chaotic nature of the tarmac isn’t just worse, it’s incredibly expensive and has now become a bit of a priority to address.
From the landing and departing planes, the shuttles carrying passengers to and fro, and the hustle and bustle of the various different ground support crew and their equipment, there’s a lot happening on the airport tarmac. Especially with the ground support crew and their equipment. Ground support equipment, or GSE, is a broad range of equipment used to service and support aircraft operations, especially used near the terminals when the aircraft is on the ground between flights. They involve everything, including ground power operations, aircraft mobility, cargo/passenger handling and loading, catering, security, and more. Which is why accidents are dangerous and aplenty.
According to a 24-month long study from 2014 to 2015 with 80 aviation departments and fixed-base operators (FBOs) conducted by business aviation consulting group VanAllen, GSEs are incredibly problematic and happen far too often. The study concluded with a total of 64 accidents totaling $12.3 million. The resulting projected cost per accident for 2016 was estimated to be about $586K per accident at about 21 predicted accidents. And, off these accidents, 33% were towing accidents that were otherwise completely avoidable.
These numbers are alarming, so, it’s rather obvious why GSE accident prevention is such a priority. Airliners and airports want to reduce and prevent accidents as much as possible because efficient GSE operations ensure that schedules are being maintained and bottom lines are secured. The average cost of a GSE accident was nearly $400,000 back in 1998, taking only into consideration potential aircraft damage and lost revenue. Accidents also don’t just cost time and money, they are dangerous; it could be potentially life-threatening if ground support crew or passengers are involved in the accident.
So, there’s an incentive to train ground support crew and personnel on safety, how to move about the tarmac, how to handle accidents and emergencies, and so on. However, There are challenges to this too. In order to train ground support crew effectively, they will have to be subjected to hazards and dangerous situations on the field, instead of in the classroom. They need to be able to develop decision-making skills and response times with ample practice; the learning environment is difficult to model and simulate. But, it should all be worth it in the end. Afterall, investing money into better GSE training solutions is significantly better than losing an unknown amount of money to GSE accidents.
At Aerospace Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the GSE tooling parts and FBO parts you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, aviation, and defense industries, we’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at email@example.com or call us at +1-412-212-0606.