Outsourced manpower used by Airlines for ground handling services at has been banned from now onwards. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has come up with a new regulation for ground handling services which clearly stated that hiring of employees through contractor or manpower supplier for ground handling services would not be permitted.Also the ministry has stated that all domestic scheduled airline operators, including helicopter service providers, would be allowed to do self-handling at airports, including the civil enclaves. Further as per new policy, the ministry has also barred foreign airlines from carrying out “self-handling” at any domestic airport.As per the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Ground Handling Services) Regulations, 2017, all domestic scheduled airline operators, including helicopter service providers would be allowed to do self-handling at airports, including the civil enclaves. Generally, civil enclaves are airports belonging to the armed forces where civilian aircraft operations are allowed. Ground handling services include those pertaining to servicing and handling of aircraft as well as loading and unloading. The regulations have been notified a few days ago.Foreign airlines may also undertake self-handling in respect of passenger and baggage handling activities excluding security functions at the airport terminals restricted to the passenger check-in at pre security hold area, at all the airports except Civil Enclaves. As per Regulations, all ground handling services shall be provided only through the regular employees and hiring of employees through handling contractor or manpower supplier shall not be permitted.”At all airports, in order to overcome space and time constraints, the airport operator only shall provide adequate number of Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE), Common User Self Service (CUSS), Baggage Reconciliation System (BRS) and Self Bag Drop (SBD),” it noted.The regulations said that airports having annual passenger throughput of 1.5 million passengers per annum or above, the airport operator shall provide adequate number of Baggage Reconciliation System: Where the annual passenger throughput is less than 1.5 million passengers per annum, the airport operator may decide the provisions relating to Baggage Reconciliation System. All agencies concerned shall ensure the use of state-of-art equipment and best practices in line with the International Air Transport Association Airport Handling Manual,” the regulation said.All airport operators shall appoint the requisite number of ground handling agencies within a period of 120 days from the date of publication of these regulations.In the earlier ground handling policy, airlines were allowed to choose from within three agencies to get the services. Under this, the airport operators have been advised to have maximum number of three ground handling companies including Air India’s subsidiary/joint venture at all major airports as defined in AERA Act 2008.
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