Training is important but many employers in ground handling and ramp operations find it expensive and time consuming, with employees missing work time to attend training sessions alongside a high staff turnover. RTITB, the preferred workplace transport training regulatory body and GSE training standards specialist, suggests that standardised training can offer many benefits to companies and their employees.
“We have learnt from our many clients in the aviation industry that there can be a quick turnover in ground handling and ramp staff,” explains Laura Nelson, Managing Director of RTITB. “Standardising the training delivered across the industry with accredited courses taught by properly qualified instructors, would benefit the industry by providing internal and external qualifications that are more transferable, between organisations, recruitment agencies who supply temporary staff for peak periods, and different airports.”
Accredited training not only ensures high standards of theory and practical instruction, but also enables employers to recruit temporary or experienced staff with recognisable qualifications. This will mean that businesses do not need to provide basic training again, helping save money and time.
“We maintain a register of qualified ground handling and ramp operations employees with up to date information about their accredited training to help eliminate any unnecessary investment of time and money in new members of staff who have already completed the required training,” says Laura.
Enhance day-to-day productivity
“A quick turnaround time on the ramp is becoming more and more important to keep up with the increasing number of flights and passengers,” says Laura. “The best way to ensure optimal productivity is through good-quality training tailored to meet the specific challenges of the operation.”
Whether operators are using a baggage handler, de-icer or air bridge, effective training will also help reduce handling incidents and prevent potential damage to high value aircraft. Damage to aircraft can cause significant delays as well as expense.
“Not only is there the cost of repair to the aircraft and the operating equipment to consider, but delays may result in expensive compensation owed to passengers,” explains Laura. “However, the most important consideration is the potential human cost if someone is hurt as a result of the incident.”
To help businesses achieve maximum safety and efficiency, RTITB carries out operational HealthChecks and develops training specific to the airside operation each company’s specific needs. With this tailored approach, staff and managers can be sure that the same high standard is applied to each trainee, allowing processes to be put in place to help speed up the operation and increase productivity.
According to CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), it is more cost effective to train and retain the right people than to recruit new staff*. It is also important in addressing the industry’s current skills shortage.
“Part of the RTITB HealthCheck and training development service includes training individuals to be high performing instructors,” adds Laura. “Accreditation gives more substance to the Instructor qualification and can help these important staff to feel valued, encouraging loyalty to the company.”
Reduce insurance costs
Some insurance companies also recognise the benefit of certain training programmes. For example, in response to the implementation of RTITB programmes, excesses and premiums can be reduced. “We work with businesses and their insurance companies to achieve financial benefits as a result of our training,” says Laura.
RTITB’s expert aviation team specialises in supporting airports and ground handling companies achieve maximum safety and efficiency. Instructor training for companies to deliver in-house training for ground support staff in safe handling (manual and with equipment) and driving skills are also available from RTITB.
Working with employers delivering airside operations, RTITB strives to improve the standard of training delivered to drivers in ground support equipment operations. RTITB develops courses for apron, manoeuvring area and runway driving permits to allow operators to use equipment airside. Equipment training options include, but are not limited to: baggage tugs, de-icers, re-fuellers, waste removal lorries, bowsers, emergency incident vehicles, beltloaders, hi-loaders, sweepers, tractors, prime movers and airbridges.
All RTITB accredited training is designed to help companies comply with local laws and regulations and the international requirements of EASA.
Visit www.rtitb.co.uk/aviation or call our aviation team specialists on +44(0)1952520207 to start putting a stop to expensive ground damage incidents and improve the safety of your crew and passengers.