With Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 (the ‘Basic Regulation’), groundhandling (GH) services are now included among the aviation domains with a significant safety relevance that are regulated at European Union (EU) level. Annex VII to the Basic Regulation establishes the essential requirements for groundhandling service providers (GHSPs). EASA, in order to address the requirements stemming from the Basic Regulation, has established a roadmap that consists of three phases: factfinding, definition of the scope of the roadmap, and implementation of actions.
The provision of GH services is an area where a number of occurrences take place, which result to damage to aircraft and equipment, injuries or even death and have a significant cost impact on aircraft operators, aerodrome operators and GHSPs. Furthermore, undetected or unreported errors and damages during the provision of GH services can affect the aircraft’s load and balance, aerodynamics, airworthiness and performance, having thus a direct impact on flight safety.
So far, the provision of GH services has been subject either to national regulations or to voluntary compliance with industry standards and indirectly regulated through Regulation (EU) No 965/2012. This situation has led to an inconsistent and not harmonised approach throughout the EU.
The objective of this task is to maintain a high level of safety, ensure a level playing field and support the free movement of persons and services in the EU, by establishing a regulatory framework for the provision of GH services, but also by identifying the necessary safety promotion actions and research activities to support implementation.
In addition, this rulemaking task (RMT) will incorporate RMT.0705 ‘Addition of a new requirement for the handling of dangerous goods at aerodromes’ to establish requirements for the aerodrome operators for developing methods for the delivery, storage, dispensing, and handling of dangerous goods at the aerodrome, which has been discontinued as a standalone RMT and is considered relevant to this task.