Ground Handling Social Dialogue Support

On 14 January 2016 in Brussels was held the kick-off meeting of the Steering Committee for the joint project of the European social partners in aviation “Ground Handling Social Dialogue Support”. The meeting was attended by Antonia Panayotova, International Relations and Civil Aviation expert, who is a member of the SC and represents FTTUB in the European Transport Workers’ Federation project team (ETF).

At the plenary meeting of the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Civil Aviation on 28 May 2015 the European social partners have decided to submit a joint project under the budget heading “Industrial Relations and social dialogue”.

ETF is the main applicant for the project, with co-applicants the European Region of the Airports Council International (ACI Europe), which represents more than 600 airport operators in Europe, and the Airport Services Association (ASA).  The Association of European Airlines (AEA) also participates as an associated organisation.

The project will continue for 24 months and was officially launched in December 2015 by a call for tender for two independent external experts with a legal and industry standards expertise respectively. For the time of the project they are expected to conduct desktop and field research on the legislative framework and the current status of the GH market, on vocational training and quality standards, as well as on social rights in the European sector of ground handling services. The experts will also study the implementation of the industry initiatives ISAGO (IATA Safety Audit for GH Operations) and IATA AHM (IATA Airport Handling Manual) and compile the best practices in this domain. Besides all this a comprehensive mapping of the European ground handling sector will be done.

Bulgaria, along with nine other Member States – Germany, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, Poland, Spain, Ireland and France – was chosen as a subject of the future research.

The   Steering Committee believes that the outcome of the project, the conclusions and the joint proposals of the social partners will be taken into account by the European Commission in 2017 when the evaluation of Ground handling services Directive 96/67/EC will be completed according to the AVIATION STRATEGY INDICATIVE ACTION PLAN and this will outline the way forward for the industry.