IATA highlights key priorities for ground handling industry

IATA highlighted priorities to support the growing demand for air travel: harmonizing global standards to improve safety, improving collaboration between stakeholders, and developing talent.


IATA International Air Transport Association


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) highlighted three key priorities for the ground handling industry to support the growing demand for air travel: harmonizing global standards to improve safety, improving collaboration between stakeholders, and developing talent.

Global standards

IATA called for the ground handling industry to accelerate the global adoption of the IATA Ground Operations Manual (IGOM) to ensure a level of operational consistency and safety across the industry worldwide. “Aviation grows safer when global standards are consistently applied. IGOM is the global standard and worldwide implementation is our target,” said Careen.

IATA also called on governments to recognize the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO)—based on IGOM standards—in their regulatory frameworks.

As of April 2018, the number of ground service providers (GSPs) in the ISAGO Registry surpassed 230, with almost 450 registered stations in over 300 airports worldwide. ISAGO is recognized by several airport authorities, such as Amsterdam Schiphol, London Heathrow, Seattle Tacoma, Miami, Hong Kong, and Singapore, and the civil aviation authorities of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Netherlands, and many others.

Improving Collaboration

IATA urged even greater collaboration across stakeholder groups to improve safety and operational efficiency. Following on such successful collaborative efforts as ISAGO and the IATA Ground Damage Database, the IATA Ground Operations Group (GOG) was established as a collaborative forum for airlines and ground handlers to work together. The aim of the GOG is to provide strategic direction on the development and implementation of ground handling standards and technology with a focus on improving safety and efficiency.