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4 demanding tasks airport ground handlers are called to face

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 31, 2019 9:03:00 AM

3 demanding tasks airport ground handlers are called to face

The ground handling industry is experiencing a steady growth in the last years. According to data shared by Aviation Pros, in 2016 the sector has been valued $54M by Visiongain, with strong growth rates to be projected over the following decade. According to Technavio, the annual growth rate of the ground handling sector is going to be of approximately 6 percent by 2020. Another forecast, the one of GM Insights, projects the aircraft ground handling system market size to exceed $160M by 2022.

Despite the extremely positive news and the fact that ground handlers are experiencing a moment of unprecedented prosperity, we don't have to forger that this means increased pressure and fierce competition.

What are the most demanding tasks ground handlers are called to face?

#1 - Meeting environmental targets. The aviation industry is growing at a fast pace and so is the ground handling industry, as a consequence. Handling fleets and GSE are subject to an increasing demand and have to be efficient, not only in terms of service, but also of environmental targets - that's why they are starting to look into alternative vehicles or ways to avoid unnecessary vehicle movements and fuel waste.

#2 - Providing a safe place to work. With so much going on in such a restricted space and time frame, concerns are high about safety for workers and passengers and the need for swift operations obviously must not compromise vehicle checks, maintenance and the carrying out of standardised procedures, that should not be skipped.

#3 - Reducing incidents. It has been estimated that occupational hazards, injuries and absences from the workplace result in multi-billion dollar costs close to $4B to the aviation industry and more specifically in the ground operations sector. In terms of aircraft ground damages, the $4B figure is closer to around $12B when the ancillary costs related to injuries, staff shortages, insurance-related costs to both employers and employees and other factors are taken into consideration. With such an activity increase, there is obviously good news in terms of business, but also more possibility of incidents - hence why this is a current and should be a constant challenge for ground handlers.

#4 - Keeping the pace with increasing air traffic. Congestion does not only happen in the air or on the roads of a country, but in airports too. The pressure is high to have efficient transportation systems, automated airport terminals and fast operations before take-off and after landing. Ground handlers need to understand the ongoing and future requirements and be ready to manage operations and comply with the expanding requirements.

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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Transpoco at the 21st annual Ground Handling International Conference

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 29, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Transpoco at the 21st annual Ground Handling International Conference-1

There is one more inspiring event planned for Transpoco for this 2019. Transpoco telematics is going to exhibit at the Ground Handling International Conference, which will take place in Amsterdam from 4th to 7th November, hosted in the Rai Convention Centre, an incredible venue located 12 minutes from the city centre and 8 minutes from Schiphol international airport, the ideal place to connect the key players in the handling sector.

The GHI Annual Conference brings unparalleled networking opportunities with 750+ decision makers from the world’s aviation industry. Transpoco will have the opportunity to talk business with major airline buyers as 180+ airline ground operations and procurement managers are expected.

The event will also help pick up best practice ideas: ground handlers, aviation companies and suppliers will be able to attend keynote conference presentations on managing margin squeeze; contract negotiation techniques; the non-IATA SGHA; embedding a high safety culture and developing a PRM strategy. Transpoco at the 21st annual Ground Handling International Conference2

We are just days away from this prominent event: Transpoco will exhibit at the stand number E26A. Contact us if you wish to book a demonstration of our system or to discuss your requirements with us.

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Topics: News, Stats & Facts, GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Why tracking pushback tractors brings huge value to your ramp operations

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 24, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Why tracking pushback tractors brings huge value to your ramp operations

There is a lot happening on an airport ramp and it is essential for airlines to know exactly where all vehicles are (not just the planes, though this might be the first thing coming to your mind!) on the ground. Thousands of people, staff members, and pieces of equipment move around just a few square meters - and so do millions of euros in investment.

One of those innumerable things going on is the pushback procedure, carried out by pushback and towing vehicles. Airlines conduct pushbacks around the clock, and rotate aircrafts like clockwork, often under critically short timeframes. The pushback is an airport procedure during which an aircraft is pushed backwards away from an airport gate by external power. Although many aircraft can also move backwards on the ground using reverse thrust (a procedure referred to as a powerback), the resulting jet blast or prop wash may cause damage to the terminal building or equipment. Engines close to the ground may also blow sand and debris forward and then suck it in to the engine, causing damage to the engine. A pushback using a tractor or tug is therefore the preferred method to move the aircraft away from the gate. All of the operations must be equipped with pushback tractors tugs which are completely reliable

It is therefore not surprising why pushback tractors and vehicles are a vital and integral element in ground support equipment fleets. How can then vehicle tracking help protect these vehicles and ensure the pushback procedure is performed with the highest standards of safety and efficiency?


#1 - Vehicle tracking helps locate pushback tractors and other GSE assets

According to different sources, quality and efficiency of services at airports must be improved. It is surprisingly easy to lose track of vital equipment and people in these busy locations, which means airport management loses time and money in resolving each issue. According to an European Commission press release, today, 70% of all delays to flights are already caused by problems due to the turnaround of aircrafts at airports (delays caused by airlines or their ground-handlers, airports or other parties involved in the turn around process). Tracking GSE assets such as pushback tractors can definitely make the difference in terms of time (and money ) savings and efficiency.

#2 - Vehicle tracking helps maintain your tractors
 Airplane tugs, particularly pushback-specific styles, are very expensive. They are built to safely move airplanes sometimes weighing nearly 200 tons, so they must be built heavy and durably. Considering this, it is paramount that pushback tractors are properly maintained, so that airlines can enjoy their long-term activity and the pushback procedure is conducted without any issue. In some cases GSE fleets need to keep track of different types of tractors, used for different aircrafts. Tracking technology can streamline the organisation of the maintenance checks needed for these assets and keep track of the different vehicle inspections needed.

#3 - Vehicle tracking helps assessing risks

Pushback is an extremely risky operation. The evidence of accidents and incidents is that there are a number of recurrent features of aircraft damage during pushback, often due to lack of clarity in communications, unserviceable vehicles, manoeuvring starting from a parking position different from the one marked.
By tracking pushback vehicles it is possible to detect any gaps in ground crew training that can be addressed or patterns in vehicle movements that help adopt safer procedures.


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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

RAC research suggests drivers who idle should be fined

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 22, 2019 9:00:00 AM

RAC research suggests drivers who idle should be fined

According to a new RAC research made public last week, the 72% of the interviewed calls for an idling crackdown, with 44% of them stating drivers refusing to switch their engine off should be fined. 26% of the drivers surveyed, on another hand, think motorists should just be told to switch off without being fined, and a 2% thinks offenders should be fined without any type of warning.

After an initial call for more power to take action against drivers who idle, councils in the UK already have the authority to fine them, but as of now just a few chose to do it. The respondents to the survey would like to see some action taken against offenders, as 88% of them argued they see drivers idling while parking at the side of a road, 40% see drivers idling on a regular basis and 48% see them occasionally. 26% of respondents saw drivers idling outside schools.

With climate change and emissions being constantly in the news, 55% of those surveyed added that they are more concerned on the impact of vehicle emissions on the environment and public health than they were 3 years ago. But the top reason for switching off provided by the surveyed was instead cost, with 37% stating they would switch off to save on fuel, followed by 35% saying they would do it to help with air quality.

After in the June of this year the UK Government announced it would launch a consultation looking at increasing fines for those who idle, some councils have called for powers to deal with idling. Westminster City Council leader Nickie Aiken argued that “Fines are our last resort but when we establish a pattern of persistent idling we need to be able to send a message” and added that fines for company vehicles, such as supermarket delivery vans, that are caught idling need to be “a four-figure sum to be a sufficient deterrent”.

The war against idling has just started.


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Topics: Fleet Management, Fuel Economy, reduce emissions

Successful trade show for Transpoco at the Inter Airport Europe 2019

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 17, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Successful trade show for Transpoco at the Inter Airport Europe 2019 event
For manufacturers and suppliers of airport equipment, technology, design and services, the annual appointment with the Inter Airport Europe event provides the opportunity to meet specialists from airports, airlines, air cargo carriers as well as aviation support from all over the world looking to invest in future-oriented, modern solutions for the interconnected airport.
The Inter Airport Europe, which occurs every 2 years, is renowned for being the world’s leading airport exhibition as it covers the most comprehensive range of products and services for the entire airport: technology and services for ground handling, airport equipment, terminal operations, airport IT solutions and airport design... and obviously GSE fleets.
Transpoco were delighted to exhibit for the first time at the Inter Airport show in Munich last week. The event was very well attended and brought together all the key players in the industry. It was great to meet up with customers, partners and prospective clients and we had some really great conversations that will only help to strengthen our relationships and further improve the services that we offer.

By far the best part of the event for us was the celebration of the results achieved with Iberia, that will adopt our SynX technology on up to 1400 motorised assets across Spanish airports. It was particularly great for the Transpoco team to meet up with David Uclés, Ground Equipment Manager of Iberia at Inter Airport in Munich, following the award of the contract by Iberia to implement our complete fleet management solution throughout Spain:

Successful trade show for Transpoco at the Inter Airport Europe 2019_
In the picture, from left to right, Vincent O'Kane, Operations Manager at Transpoco, John Harrington, Sales and Marketing Director at Transpoco, David Uclés, Ground Equipment Manager at Iberia and Phillip Davis, Enterprise Account Executive at Transpoco.
Another highlight of the show was certainly Mallaghan's new bus launch and the great hospitality that they put on for everyone that visited their stand during the entire event.
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Topics: News, Stats & Facts, driver behaviour, GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Airport ramp safety: food cart spinning out of control goes viral

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 15, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Airport ramp safety food cart spinning out of control goes viral

Ramp safety is a very important matter in the aviation sector, as the area of an airport ramp involves a huge number of different activities, vehicle movements and the presence of people that have to be coordinated. Maintenance staff, ground handlers, fuelers, airling engineers, airport police (and the list could continue) all move on the ramp and around the aircraft in order to get it ready for departure or after its arrival. Depending on the activity taking place, the equipment used or the complexity of any tasks being carried out, ramp operations and workers might face different risks. But what happened in Chicago O'Hare airport to a catering cart at the end of September was probably not expected by the majority of staff operating around an American Airlines due to leave soon after the incident.

A video that has soon gone viral in the last 2 weeks shows a catering cart "gone crazy" and spinning out of control. The video was caught by Dr. Kevin Klauer, an osteopathic physician, who saw the cart's uncontrolled circular ride on the tarmac while waiting for his flight to Tennessee:

What at the beginning seemed hilarious to see, started well soon to be perceived as a possible accident as the vehicle came closer and closer and was about to hit the aircraft. But thanks to the quick action of a ramp instructor, later identified as Jorge Manalang, the vehicle was stopped. Manalang hit the catering cart with a pushback tractor to prevent what could have been a serious accident. The aircraft could leave soon and reached its destination with just a 10 minute delay.

According to the first investigations, the accelerator of the vehicle got stuck, causing it to spin out of control. The accelerator was allegedly hit by a water case.

The episode, tweeted by Dr. Kevin Klauer, got viral and has so far reached 18.2M views on Twitter.


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Topics: fleet risk management, fleet risk assessment, GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Free FTA UK Brexit preparation workshops for hauliers

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 10, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Free FTA Brexit preparation workshops for hauliers start this month

With the UK and EU yet to reach an agreement on their future trading relationship, at least at the time of writing, it is vital that vehicle goods operators are as prepared as possible for a No-Deal Brexit, even if MPs have backed a bill aimed at blocking a no-deal Brexit on 31st October. According to the bill, if Boris Johnson fails to secure an agreement with Brussels by 19th October, he will be forced to ask for another delay.

To guide hauliers through this challenging time, FTA UK has launched a series of free half-day workshops. The first ones took place in September but the events are continuing until the 31st October deadline.

In the event of a No-Deal Brexit, new border procedures and haulier responsibilities will come into effect immediately. Hauliers must ensure they fully understand the new road haulage procedures, documentation requirements and responsibilities that will arise after 31 October 2019; otherwise they risk their operations coming to a standstill.

The workshops will cover the following topics:

  • Brexit update.
  • Overview of No-Deal Brexit impact on international haulage.
  • New border procedures and haulier responsibilities to maintain business continuity.
  • Practical considerations for a No-Deal Brexit and a step-by-step guide for hauliers to prepare.
  • Overview of new documentation requirements for goods vehicle operators.
  • Overview of documentation for goods vehicle drivers.
  • Overview of documents for goods vehicles and trailers.
  • Other haulage business no-deal planning considerations.
  • End to end process.

You can checkout the extended programme of the workshops on the FTA website, where you can also book your seat.


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Topics: Fleet Management, News, Stats & Facts, Brexit

Iberia to implement Transpoco complete fleet management solution throughout Spain

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 8, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Transpoco supplies Iberia with GSE telematics solution SynX at Spanish stations

Leading telematics and fleet management software provider, Transpoco, has announced that it has enabled Iberia to achieve significant operational savings by implementing its advanced fleet management solution on its ground support equipment in numerous airports across the airline’s Spanish network.

Following a rigorous tender process, Transpoco was selected for a proof of concept in Madrid and Barcelona on up to 200 motorised assets. As a result of proven savings and return on investment Iberia will roll out the technology on up to 1400 motorised assets across further stations throughout Spain.

The Transpoco solution will help Iberia Airport Services to manage its fleet more efficiently and reduce any misuse from daily operations.

Iberia will benefit from Transpoco’s product functionality that includes tracking and controlling motorised equipment at the various airport ramps. The system also has the potential to integrate with many other platforms within the organisation including sharing data with airport authorities to update them with live location of the Iberia fleet.

Ángel Marcos, Iberia Chief Airport Services Officer, commented, “At Iberia we are constantly striving to find new ways of innovation, maximising efficiency and providing a punctual, safe and reliable service to our customers. By integrating the Transpoco fleet management software across multiple stations in Spain we have helped to achieve this”. Ángel Marcos added, “The solution from Transpoco allows us to increase safety and performance on the ramp, being more environmentally friendly while reducing operational costs. The Transpoco system and team have been very flexible and agile in reaching the business specifications of our requirements”.

Andrew Fleury, Transpoco CEO, commented, “We are delighted to be working with a world class airline in Iberia as we have been developing our system for many years with clients now in over 60 different countries. Our specialism in the aviation industry has been recognised internationally by some of the largest companies in the world and we continue to make internal investment to expand our international client base”.


Iberia Airport Services roster of more than 170 airline clients at 29 airports in Spain. In 2018 the handling unit attended some 350.000 aircraft and more than 96 million passengers. Iberia Airport Services is distinguished by its versatility in serving all types of airlines in all types of operations, and its human and material capacity for resolving every kind of contingency.

Some 40% of Iberia’s handing unit’s ground vehicles are now 100% electric and thus emissions-free, and the substitution of older vehicles continues. The unit is certified by Spain’s AENOR standards bureau for its quality assurance and environmental protection systems, under ISO 9,001 and ISO 14,001 standards.


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Topics: Fleet Management, News, Stats & Facts, GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

Vehicles in the workplace are the biggest killer in Ireland

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 3, 2019 8:02:00 AM

Vehicles in the workplace are the biggest killer in Ireland

According to figures recently released by the Health and Safety Authority of Ireland (HSA), vehicles are the leading cause of death in Irish workplaces.

The source of the aforementioned figures is the Authority’s 2018 Annual Report, showing that there were 39 work-related fatalities reported to the HSA in 2018, compared to 48 in 2017, a decline of 19%. But the single biggest danger last year came from vehicles in the workplace, with 17 lives lost across all industries last year.

The farming sector suffered 15 work-related deaths in 2018, compared to 25 in 2017, a decline of 40%, while construction had five work-related deaths.

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, said workplace deaths cause great trauma and personal suffering for families every year. While welcoming the decline in workplace fatalities, he said: “We should remember that any improvement in numbers provides little comfort to the family, friends and colleagues of the dozens of Irish people whose lives were cut short this year while doing their job.”

Dr Sharon McGuinness, Chief Executive Officer of the HSA, said that the fatality statistics show how vehicles are now the biggest threat to life in the Irish workplace. “Whether it’s a farmer driving a tractor in a yard, or a truck driver delivering a load, across all sectors, incidents involving vehicles accounted for almost half - or 44% - of all deaths last year. The worrying trend is continuing with six deaths provisionally recorded so far this year in the transportation sector” she said.

Tractors were involved in the majority of workplace vehicle incidents last year and claimed six lives but cars, refuse trucks and forklifts were also involved in fatalities.

Expressing concern at the devastation caused by work tragedies on bereaved families, Dr McGuinness urged everyone to be aware of the risks posed by moving vehicles in all workplaces. A change in mindset is required to reduce the numbers of workers dying or suffering serious injury as a result of workplace vehicles: complacency is costing lives.

“Drivers at work often forget about the same hazards that they look out for when driving on the road, like properly maintaining their vehicles, and paying attention to pedestrians when reversing. These checks could help prevent a fatal catastrophe to themselves or a work colleague,” Dr McGuinness concluded.


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Topics: Fleet Management, fleet safety, Health and Safety at work

How tracking your GSE fleet can positively impact on your airline turnaround time

by Eleonora Malacarne on Oct 1, 2019 9:03:00 AM

How tracking your GSE fleet can positively impact on your airline turnaround time

The old adage "time is money" can generally be considered valid for any activity, but we are pretty sure airlines and aviation experts will agree that it is especially accurate when we think about an airline or a plane turnaround time.

What is exactly an airline or a plane turnaround time? The turnaround time of an airplane is defined as the time required to unload an airplane after its arrival at the gate and to prepare it for departure again and it is crucial for its utilization since airlines obtain revenue when the airplane is in the air. Today, with airlines having to cope with exorbitant airport charges and rising fuel expenses levied across the world, it becomes important to come out with ways to cut back costs. One of the things is often under scrutiny is fuel, although very little control is possible on fuel costs (at least when thinking about the aircraft!). As per turnaround time, on the other hand, it is possible to cut back cost without compromising quality.

What happens during turnaround time? During the turnaround time, both the airport and the resources of the airline get organised to complete the aircraft setup in the shortest possible time. The process to be carried out includes both the planning and the handling of tasks that have to guarantee cleanliness, safety and efficiency for the next flight. Turnaround time is therefore an extremely delicate phase which has a direct impact on passengers experience, as it involves the correct and swift coordination or all the resources involved to keep the flight punctual and to perform the necessary maintenance for a safe flight with the plane landing on the time at the next destination. With uncontrollable aspects such as severe weather conditions or emergencies, it goes without saying that one of the best ways to reduce turnaround time is the support of a highly organised GSE fleet, the type of fleet that as soon as the aircraft reaches the gate, it starts to gather around it and to operate with the precision of an orchestra.

How much can long turnaround times or delays cost? In a 2010 Federal Aviation Administration study it has been calculated that delays cost to the US economy around $US32.9 billion a year (around €30B), with about half of the cost borne by airline passengers because of missed connections and added lodging and food expenses. Such situations can lead to a lot of undesirable consequences, as they have a direct impact on the survival of an organization due to a series of payment crisis one after another.

Airline Turnaround Time has become a very important and key parameter in determining the profitability of an airline company. If you want to serve your airline clients providing the best efficient turnaround times as a GSE fleet, talk to us.


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Topics: GSE fleets, Airport fleet management

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