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Front Page | April 2011

New ground handling policy to mend quality

Projects Info analyses the impact of the ground handling policy, according to which only three ground handlers will be allowed to operate at six metro airports

 

Our Mumbai Bureau

 

Amid the recent controversy of fake pilot scam, the civil aviation ministry has announced a new ground handling policy which will allow only three ground handlers to perform the function at the six metro airports across the country. Government has asked all domestic airlines to submit an action plan to implement the new policy which seeks to provide high quality service and heightened security to passengers at airports.

 

The new policy allows only three agencies in one metro airport - the state-owned Air India, the airport operators (such as Airports Authority of India, GMR and GVK), and one private firm selected through competitive bidding-to provide ground handling services at the country's six metro airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The policy is aimed at eliminating outsourced manpower and restricting the number of service providers operating at airports to improve service standards, safety and security. However in the process the private airlines lose their right of self-handling or their own ground-handling. "Ground handling, till now, was being treated as a cost centre by all the airlines and the objective was to minimise the cost, which took a toll on the quality of services offered. There was no concern for purchase and maintenance of high quality equipment. The new ground handling policy will ensure that the ground handler will provide quality services. This definitely means that there will be an increase in demand for good quality ground handling equipments at airports across the country," pointed out Raghunandan Jagdish, CEO & Director, Nandan GSE.

 

According to industry experts, the value of ground handling business at airports across the country is estimated to be around Rs 1,000 crore divided between a large number of small agencies working at most of the airports.

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