Ground Handling and Security Reporting

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Ground Handling Operations are an essential activity in the aviation operational environment during aircraft arrivals departures and movements, and as such contributes to aircraft safety and airworthiness.

The CHIRP Aviation Confidential Reporting Programme has been extended to now include the Ground Handling Operations Community across the UK commercial and general aviation industry.

We plan to run a pilot programme at three UK airports during early 2016 to establish procedures and protocols before extending the programme to all UK Ground Handling Operations communities later in the year.  As always, we will ensure confidentiality is maintained by disidentifying the sources of the incoming reports, the individual reporter's details, the company they work for and the operator and airport involved.

Including Ground Handling Operations through CHIRP across the UK will complement the CAA Mandatory Occurrence Reporting system and other formal reporting systems operated by many UK organisations, by providing a means by which individuals are able to raise safety-related issues of concern without being identified to their peer group, management or the Regulatory Authority.

Our Purpose - To contribute to the enhancement of flight safety by providing an independent confidential reporting system for all individuals employed in or associated with UK Ground Handling Operations.


Some 8% of all safety occurrences reported to the CAA in the past five years have involved ground handling.  The occurrences have been categorised and the most numerous reports fall in to six event types, two of which account for the greatest proportion of reports:

Ground Damage which comprises mainly collisions between vehicles and ground servicing equipment and miscellaneous damage of unknown cause discovered on arrival in the UK; and

Loading error comprising mainly unsecured loads in the aircraft hold and incorrect load distribution as a result of an incorrect load plan or the aircraft not being loaded in accordance with a correct load plan.

The remaining four event types, De-icing, Fuelling, Marshalling and Catering comprise of a lower number of reports.  A significant proportion of these events would in fact be more correctly identified as ground damage.

There have been four common themes running throughout the six event categories - People and Training, Processes and Procedures, Business Pressure and Infrastructure and Equipment.

Who will run the programme?

Terry Dudley, Deputy Director (Engineering) will lead the programme, reporting to the Chief Executive CHIRP and will be supported on the communications requirements by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.


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