The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports that the IATA Ground Operations Manual (IGOM) Portal and IATA's Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) are driving greater standardisation of ground handling processes around the world.

The organisation states this is particularly important for the rapid build-up of operations as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. “IGOM and ISAGO complement each other in driving much-needed harmonisation across the ground handling sector. And the boost in participation in both programmes as the industry ramps up its operations is good news for both safety and efficiency. The aim of both is to reduce risk, avoid ground damage and enable standardised, sustainable operations,” said Monika Mejstrikova, IATA’s Director of Ground Operations.

Since the IGOM Portal’s launch in January, 58 airlines and 11 ground service providers (GSPs) have subscribed to its services.

The portal enables airlines and ground handlers to interface with the IATA Ground Operations Manual. IGOM is the global industry standard for ground handling worldwide. The portal is an online platform where, with IGOM as the primary reference, airlines and GSPs can exchange information, including any variations, on their ground handling requirements.

“The goal is global adoption of ground handling standards. The efficiency and safety gains from global standardisation have been proven throughout aviation’s development. The IGOM portal is helping achieve this by making it easier for airlines and GSPs to manage and monitor implementation of standards and to understand variances. With 69 organisations already using the portal the drive for greater standardisation is getting a boost,” said Mejstrikova.

The IGOM Portal is available free of charge to all airlines and GSPs.

Since March 2022, 28 airlines have joined ISAGO, thereby benefiting from 500 audit reports available to complement their oversight activities.

ISAGO provides an independent assessment of all aspects of managing and providing safe ground handling services, based on the IGOM standards. “The increase in ISAGO participation reflects the benefits of verified compliance with global standards. With more governments now including ISAGO in their safety oversight programmes, we can expect even more airlines and GSPs to join. In addition to safety improvements, ISAGO participation helps airlines to allocate resources efficiently,” says Mejstrikova.

Given the benefits of standardisation to safety performance, IATA urges governments to recognise ISAGO in their regulatory frameworks for safety oversight. Key among the many positive outcomes is the assurance that Safety Management Systems (SMS) are being implemented by GSPs.


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