Autumn 2021

issue 55

Welcome to the Autumn 2021 issue of Airside International, which offers a lead up to what will hopefully be the resumption of the industry events that are so important to the airport industry and its ramp operations. The International GSE Expo is scheduled for 5-7 October in Las Vegas and inter airport Europe is scheduled for Munich on 9-12 November, as well as our own event, the virtual GSE & RAMP-OPS Digital, to be held on 3-4 November.

While there are certainly indicators that the world’s aviation industry is starting to recover from the doldrums of last year and the first half of this year, there is no doubt that for those manufacturers that supply the GSE and various ramp operations infrastructure on which airport operations depend, there are still challenging times ahead. We hope that there is a strong presence at these industry shows, of both suppliers and buyers.

In the meantime, there is plenty within these pages to enjoy. A focus of this issue are the ground service providers that do so much to ensure ramp operations go so smoothly. We meet Swissport’s new(ish) president and CEO, Warwick Brady, as well as talk to Menzies about its commitment to sustainability in its global operations and to ABM Aviation and Widerøe Ground Handling about how they have coped with the industry’s disastrous downturn.

Airside also talks with dnata, another of the big handlers, in its case about its bussing operations in Dubai and the focus it puts on this customer-facing element of its service provision. That article serves as a complement to one of this issue’s features, on apron bussing, and how those involved in it are reflecting a changing market for on-apron buses.

Other features include aircraft de-icing – an example of constancy amidst the fluctuations in the nature and intensity of ramp operations of late – as well as the ground power unit (GPU) market, and how the trend towards greener power sources continues unabated. Plus, in the tugs and tractors feature, we note how collaboration is such an important part of today’s approach to aircraft apron towing.

Innovation has been a key factor in many GSE suppliers’ response to the industry situation. Resourceful as ever, we see that manufacturers and suppliers such as Mallaghan, Green Cubes Technology, ATLASAVIA and K&M are developing their product lines and reaping benefits as a result. Smaller enterprises like Airside Airport Equipment are also finding ways to survive the challenges of the moment.

Plus, in a special three-part series in this Autumn issue, we look at different products that have been designed from the ground up as examples of ‘Innovation in GSE’.

Amidst the challenges, some airports continue to expand, and we take a look at one such – Samarkand International Airport in Uzbekistan – that is growing to meet the demands of the future.

We hope you enjoy the issue.

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Featured in this issue

  • Upgrading Samarkand Airport

    At the heart of a major upgrade of Samarkand Airport’s airside facilities is Enter Engineering, one of Central Asia’s largest construction companies. Rustam Khaidarov, deputy general director for ...

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  • The changing face of the airport bus market

    Some of the previously big bus manufacturers who delivered specialist products for airport apron operations have chosen to focus their attention elsewhere, while other suppliers are moving into this s...

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  • Surviving the downturn

    Airside Airport Equipment, a Farnborough Airport, UK-based provider of new and refurbished GSE, has had to ride out the tough times of 2020-21, just like most of those – big and small – involved i...

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  • Pulling together

    Manufacturers of tugs and tractors are continuing to innovate in anticipation of the return of international travel to pre-Covid levels. Collaboration is a key part of the development of approaches th...

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  • Norwegian handler takes the strain

    Widerøe Ground Handling (WGH) has, like other ground service providers (GSPs) around the world, had a tough time over the past 18 months or so; but it has continued to operate throughout the crisis a...

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  • New Swissport chief lays out his priorities

    In May this year, Warwick Brady officially stepped into the hot seat of president and CEO of globally active ground services provider and cargo handler Swissport. It’s been a challenging time in whi...

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  • Menzies looks to a greener future

    Menzies Aviation has made a commitment to greater sustainability in its operations, and not least in its ground handling. John Geddes, corporate affairs director & group company secretary, explain...

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  • Mallaghan launches all-new i-tec electric GSE brand

    Dungannon, Northern Ireland-based GSE manufacturer Mallaghan has launched a new brand of eco-friendly and electric equipment. Its i-tec range will encompass GSE involved in ground handling, cargo hand...

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  • K&M lands its biggest contract yet

    Austria-based aircraft recovery specialist K&M has inked a deal with Spanish state-owned national airports operator Aena for the delivery of 39 aircraft recovery dollies, K&M’s biggest ever ...

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  • Innovation in GSE: the X-WAY MOVER

    In the second part of our Innovation in GSE section of this issue, we look at the innovative X-WAY MOVER, which is able to execute a number of tasks supporting the movement of cargo to and from aircra...

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  • Innovation in GSE: Textron’s TUG ALPHA 1

    Equipment manufacturers are working harder than ever to offer new product designs that provide something a little extra for GSE operators. Now, perhaps more than ever, it is vital to give customers re...

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  • Innovation in GSE: ArcWize

    In the third part of our Innovation in GSE section of this issue, we look at Xsight’s ArcWize, which is described as an “intelligent runway monitoring system”. ArcWize automatically alerts airpo...

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  • GPUs keep getting greener

    Demand for ground power units (GPUs) is picking up again as airlines and airports prepare for a return to normal traffic levels. Interest in environmentally friendly models is particularly high, as Me...

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  • dnata bases its Dubai apron bus operations on quality

    Complementing the previous feature that looked at the evolution of those supplying today’s apron buses, Airside takes a look at how dnata, the air services provider that forms part of Dubai’s Emir...

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  • Constancy amidst change

    While the aviation industry has had a horrible couple of years and almost all those involved in it have had to make changes to their structure and operations, some things stay the same – and one of ...

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  • ATLASAVIA’s training aid proves its worth at Stuttgart

    ATLASAVIA is perhaps best known for its sale and lease of refurbished GSE, and especially catering high loaders, but it has lately gone into the business of manufacturing its own equipment for the fir...

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  • An emissions-free option for powering GSE

    Green Cubes Technology supplies lithium-based power systems for GSE, an alternative to both diesel engines with their damaging emissions, and lead acid battery systems. Jerry Crump, director of busine...

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  • ABM Aviation plays its part

    Antony Marke, managing director of ABM Aviation, explains how the aviation services provider that undertakes ground handling at most big UK airports, including London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London ...

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