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Introduction Of Ground Services Management Assignment
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The report is based on ground handling services of Universal aircraft. Ground handling services are an integral part of aircraft operations (Universal Aviation, 2021). Ground handling services are the nuts & bolts of the airport industry. In this report the importance of ground handling services will be identified with the key issues and challenges. Further, in this report, threats and opportunities will also be identified while analyzing the operational process of aircraft.
About Ground handling services
Ground handling services refer to the wide range of services provided for the facilitation of an aircraft flight, aircraft ground relocation, grounding for and upon the inference of a flight. It has been analyzed that ground handling & ramp operations are the two most aspects of an international airline's operations (Papayiannis, Skoultsos and Kontis, 2019). It is a type of task which is carried out while an aircraft is on the runway before and after a flight. There are many ground handling services such as maintenance, cleaning, fueling, catering, boarding, check-in, ramp handling, and so on.
Importance of airline and airport ground services management
The ground handling services have been providing importance to the organizations because it has been helping them to land and take off the flights on time. The ground services management has an importance on the airport and airline which are as follows:
- The first thing that has been giving huge importance to the Universal aircraft is that ground handling services make it imaginable for the aircraft to land & take-off of time and guarantees that all the cards are delivered correctly of the passengers and bags are safety checked while loading them on the correct aircraft.
- With the help of ground handling services, Universal aircraft has been providing better services to the customers with which they are loyal towards the company.
- Ground services management is the source of significant workforce safety and apparatus damage concerns (Juraj, Edina and Stanislav, 2018).
- While providing the services of ground handling by Universal aircraft, they make sure that the airplane is cleaned correctly and has sufficient flight turbine petroleum.
- The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that ground management services is essential for the airplane's arrival and exit. It includes a portion of manpower to retain all the processes marking.
Key issues and challenges
The key issues that have been facing by Universal aviation include drone attacks, terrorism, and cyber securities are described as below:
- Drone attack: While handling the ground services at the airport, this issue has been facing in the airlines' industry. It is has been analyzed that a drone attack is a type of strike which is delivered by one or more unmanned combat aerial vehicles. It can be conducted by the commercial vehicle which includes dropping bombs, crashing into a target, or firing a missile. For example, Gatwick airport is the second largest airport in the UK which had suffered from the drone attack (Shelley 2019). The flights are suspended on December 19th through 21st in response to the multiple drones and the possible safety risks they caused. They have informed the passengers they did not know when the flights would resume due to the drone attacks which had been spotted flying near the airport. At that time the airport has been canceled around 1100 flights which had been affecting 110000 passengers during a busy holiday time.
- Terrorism: This is the other issue of handling the ground services management in the aviation sector. It will affect the customers and then they have been reconsidering their portable plans which can prime to the failure in the number of travelers booking flights by Universal Aviation.
- Cybersecurity: Cyber security is the biggest issue while handling the ground services at the airport. It has been identified that many of the airline's companies have been facing the issue of cybersecurity while handling the ground services management by other staff. For example, one of the largest companies that had been faced cyber-attacks in 2018 is British Airways (BA). The cybercriminals are managed to hack the system of British Airways and modified them by stealing the details of customers as they were being stored (Priambada and Purwadi, 2021). This is the biggest issue that has been facing by Airlines while handling ground services management.
The challenges that have been facing by Universal Aviation are described as follows:
- Ensure sustainability in a growing industry: It has been identified that the aviation industry has been increasing its capacity by around 5.7%. The increases in this industry raise questions about the safety, standardization, and efficiency of the ground handling services. This is the challenge that has been facing by Universal aviation if they are trying to increase their capacity.
- To reduce ground handling events: Over the year, it has been examined that ground handling incidents are rising which affect the personnel, property, and damage to aircraft. This challenge has been facing by Universal aircraft which are trying to ensure the optimal delivery and safety can reduce operative disturbance.
- Increasing air traffic: It has been analyzed that this is a serious challenge that has been facing by Universal aircraft. An increase in air traffic means that the airline services will hire more staff for ground handling operations (Papayiannis, Skoultsos and Kontis, 2019). Economic and demographic growth is the reason behind the increase in traffic.
- Staff performance challenge: Due to not giving proper training to the staff, their performance has been decreasing which is causing accidents, equipment failures, ground damage, and so on. The decreasing performance of staff while handling the ground services management has been a challenge that has been facing Universal Aircraft.
Threats and Opportunities
Universal Aircraft has been facing some threats while working upon the ground handling services. The threats that will be explained below can have the major impacts which will be facing by the company in one to three years. These are as follows:
- Attacks on payment systems: As the issue of cyber-attack on the airlines, attacks on payments system comes under this issue. This is a type of threat with which the hackers stole payment card details and other personal information of the British Airways customers. Such types of leaks will result in reputational damage in the eyes of customers, regulatory actions, and the potential loss of customers. For example, this threat had been faced by British Airways in which they have paid euro 183 million for lax data security
- Shortage of skilled manpower: This is the most important that has been requiring by the Universal aircraft which is converted into a threat. All the organizations wanted to have a skilled labor workforce who knows about handling the ground services management (Zagrajek and Hoszman, 2018). This threat is facing by Universal aircraft which has been led down in the eyes of customers because they are not providing the proper services to the customers.
- Personal injury: While providing the ground services management which is also considered a threat, the staff has been carried out many tasks in the high traffic areas both in the daylight and in darkness and in all weather conditions which can cause injury for the staff. There are many things that are considered as personal injuries while operating the things on the ground such as falls, high visibility clothing, contact with moving vehicles, lifting-related injuries, and so on.
- Aircraft damage: This is one of the biggest threats that may be possible if the staff member of ground handling services does not give proper focus on the services. This aircraft damage will be avoided by Universal aircraft while installing safety devices such as auto levelers on air bridges, proximity switches, and the appropriate use of the guide.
Some of the opportunities for Universal aircraft while handling the ground services are as follows:
- Increased revenue: This is one of the opportunities for Universal aircraft which will help them to increase their revenue. It has been analyzed that the customers prefer in-flight customer-friendly services which have been increasing with the other value-based products. This will help the company to raise the revenue as the customers are willing to pay more for the value-based services.
- Technological advancement: While enabling the technology in the airport, it will attract customers due to the technological advancement. It has been analyzed that biometrics as a facial recognition technology has been using by Universal aircraft in handling the ground management services (Alonso Tabares and Mora-Camino, 2017). It has been examined that the more technologies used by the company for handling the ground management service, the more they have increased growth and high profits.
- Improvement in investments: They can improve their investments in certain aspects like providing quality service to the customers, follow up with the passengers by taking the feedback from them, and installing high-quality aircraft interior products that will attract the customers. These are the investments that have an opportunity for Universal aircraft.
- Air service development: Air service development is a long-standing creativity that initiates with thoughtful an airport's opening within the global air transport web. This is a great opportunity for Universal aircraft to retaining or establishing air service to a given community or airport (Rodríguez-Sanz et al, 2018). It is a community effort not just an airport effort. It is an ongoing effort that can be done by the organization as a part of ground handling services to retain as well as follow the additional service.
Operational processes of airport
It has been analyzed that airport operations involved passengers, cargo, luggage, aircraft activities, ground treatment, and squads. All of these operations can be systematized into processes which are as follows:
- Passengers and Luggage: Under this process, the three key types of procedures include departure, entrance, and transmission. With the help of this process Universal aircraft's passengers communicable a flying to a final or intermediary terminus. It has been identified that airfields also deal with the cargo which flies from the transporter to the consignee through one or more carriers. Under this process, the aircraft movements can be summarized on various activities which include check-in, cleaning, and catering, technical checks, push back, take off, and index, and so on. The services provided by the ground management are critical to be efficiency and accomplishment of the airport processes.
- Terminal processes for passengers & luggage: It has been identified that the airport terminal actions can be seen as a set of activities of one or more processes. With the help of technical procedures inward travellers are able to directly go for the luggage privilege area.
- Departures passengers and luggage: At this stage, the passengers of the company have been choosing their seats on the airplane & deliver the luggage (Loh et al, 2020). It has been analyzed that the traditional check-in provided to counter the employee who confirms the permit, passenger's individual information, and so on. In this process, the luggage receives a bar code label that promises its appropriate arrangement according to the flight (Magalhas 2016). The other possible system to identify and trace the luggage is the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). After the check-in process, the passengers can continue to the security controller and sorted for the respective flight.
- Security control: In this process, the luggage of the passengers is scrutinized by metal detectors. Some airfields deliver special queues for business passengers to reduce the waiting time. It has been analyzed that after the safety control, travellers can proceed to the room for waiting. This is depending on the accessible time before the flying and personal likings.
- Passengers and luggage arrival: In this process, there are many activities that have been doing by the passengers which include entrance, receiving, and baggage transportation to the terminal, passport control, luggage processing, luggage claim, and so on (Rong Luo and Chen, 2016).
- Transfer passenger luggage: The transfers a passenger refers to those people who are just land to get a joining to other endpoint. These travellers with their baggage share some actions with the entrance process.
All these activities are performed by the passengers of Universal aircraft to get a good experience from their travel. It has been analyzed that this is the operational process of airlines that has been performed by all the organizations to give satisfaction to the customers.
It has been analyzed that ground handling services is important for Universal aircraft because it will improve the level of satisfaction of the customers. Through the ground handling services it has been assured the safety of workers while managing the things properly. Drone attack, terrorism, and cyber-attack are the issues that have been found out while providing the services of ground handling services.
Alonso Tabares, D. and Mora-Camino, F., 2017. Aircraft ground handling: analysis for automation. In 17th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference (p. 3425).
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Loh, H.S., Yuen, K.F., Wang, X., Surucu-Balci, E., Balci, G. and Zhou, Q., 2020. Airport selection criteria of low-cost carriers: A fuzzy analytical hierarchy process. Journal of Air Transport Management, 83, p.101759.
Magalhas, L. 2016. Depicting Airport Processes: Definitions, Activities and Modelling. Instituto superior técnico universidade de lisboa.
Papayiannis, D., Skoultsos, S. and Kontis, A.P., 2019. Enhancing Airports' Employees' Job Satisfaction with Training Techniques. Investing on IM. IA and the Case of Greek Airports’ Ground Handling Services. In Smart Tourism as a Driver for Culture and Sustainability (pp. 527-542). Springer, Cham.
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Shelley, A., 2019. Drone registration will not prevent another Gatwick. Available at SSRN 3378277.
Universal Aviation. 2021. About Universal Aviation. (Online) Universal Aviation. Retrieved from: https://www.universalaviation.aero/about/ [Retreived on: 12-August-2021]
Zagrajek, P. and Hoszman, A., 2018. Impact of ground handling on air traffic volatility. Journal of Management and Financial Sciences, (33), pp.147-155.