Flight/Ground Ops, Crewing and Dispatch A forum for the people who are engaged in operational control/flight dispatch/crewing and their colleagues airside in ramp dispatch, load control and ground handling, to discuss issues directly related to keeping their aircrew and aircraft operational.

Stansted handling

Old 25th Dec 2007, 18:14
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Essex
Posts: 41


Hey,fellow worker.....stop bloody contradicting yourself will you....i happen to mention a list and you jump on the band wagon...moan about the redundancies and then say hope your at the top of the list....I don't think the right hand side of your brain knows what the left hand side is doing!!!!
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Old 25th Dec 2007, 18:18
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Essex
Posts: 41

Tow team base.....

Because of one letter that was hit on the keyboard by accident you have to throw in a post like that....you very sad person....christ most people on here screw up spelling...are you going to tell them aswell how to spell!!!!

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Old 29th Dec 2007, 16:06
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Age: 40
Posts: 53
Smile diamond hanger

diamond hanger merry christmas. if we are so short of men and in deep trouble why are the stls begging staff to come in on over time.12 men to cover 12 planes in 1 hour? i did look for a manager to ask why but they where tucked up in doors.maybe waching james bond was better than getting servis out of the s..t.
wozzel is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2007, 19:58
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 200
wozzel.. said servisair are short of men..

servisair are not short of men wozzel....they have got to many men .thats why they are going to lay people off....then it will be 6 men for 12 aircraft in one hour...get it right.

if i was a betting person....in a few weeks when the pay talks are in the air.....they will say something like..no rise or take a cut and nobody will have to go.....but you can still have the 6+3 shift....watch this space...

happy new year to you all.
GRIZZLER is offline  
Old 29th Dec 2007, 22:22
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Weston-Super-Mare
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if they have too many staff at stn....please tell them to come to brs-we are getting desparete now!!!!
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 15:21
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Goldilocks95....maybe that's why there getting shot of blokes at STN and sending them to your outfit BRS...hope they don't mind the travelling...
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 15:23
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Essex
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You could always start the nightshift up again Grizzler,lol.
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 07:33
  #28 (permalink)  
Cool Mod
Join Date: Apr 1998
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It seems that no one has the ability to make any sense on this thread. Just like the other one. I have applied a ban on one person who was winding people up. Now let us see if the others can be adult from here on in.

Happy New Year.
PPRuNe Pop is offline  
Old 4th Jan 2008, 20:03
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 75
Happy New Year

I think what you all see here is passion.

Ground crews of all handling companies are highly committed to what they do. For many it is a life of over 5 years.
For many more, over 15. Middle management in the airlines and handlers have to toe the line between motivation, honesty and meeting the numbers.

For example, whatever the feel good factor involved in a succesful turn, it is just one TINY factor in that single hour of operation that will involve
the financing of the aircraft, crewing, fuel costs, maintenance, navigation fees, de-icing at this time of year, load factor, customer satisfaction,
catering (or not), and after it all? PROFIT and PUNCTUALITY are about all that is measured.

Aircraft simply don't launch into the sky empty or loud to make us feel good any more.....even military ones have felt the pinch.
Will NEVER happen I pray, but the Red Arrows have to justify flying around for what some consider to be 'nothing' these days.
My suggestion to all is rather than in-fighting amongst the handling uniforms, just think about what the real situation is.

Many airlines are not making much money. Their pilots, engineers and cabin crew ALL want more money too. The few airlines that do make money
are financing considerable fleet expansion so they prefer to give any 'spare' cash back to the shareholders that made it all happen for them.

Ground handling companies are under pressure. Many of them. The result is equipment is run until it can't make it another day,
staff are paid the least amount possible.
Handling companies fight one another for scraps of business.
Quality suffers. Then that makes it even easier to suggest a further reduction in handling charges.

For cargo, the integrators handle themselves wherever possible. It is very very expensive, but gurantees a quality that is hard to match.
Brand new equipment can sit redundant for 20hrs a day.

So for the handlers? The IATA SGHA that was set up to simplify things has actually been part of the problem. It defines exactly what you get.
The airlines know this, so how can Servisair be different from Aviance?

In reality, the people might make the difference, but the world is run by accountants these days.
They shouldn't be blamed that they have never worked on the ramp..but they DON'T see the turn that was only made by the ramp team
that pulled a rabbit out of the hat (metaphorically speaking).

2 SGHA's...2 rates...and one is picked. The cheapest.
If they screw it up it's a 60 day termination and it is given to the next handler, till they screw up....then it is given it to a new one (or the original).
Invariably at a cheaper rate because the handler still thinks they are fighting to get the business.
Sometimes to cling on to the business, the existing handler drops the rate rather than lose the business.

Airline strategy is planned many years in advance:
Pilot recruitment (1-20yrs)
Fleet replacement (3-25 yrs)
Aircraft orders. Finance and leasing (1-30yrs)
Network and routes (3 months-10yrs)
For some even fuel hedging predicting a saving is worth the bet!

But the handling companies work on standard IATA SGHA 60 days.
Stop infighting. This isn't about unions or different uniforms.

It is about a foodchain. Skint or hungry eagles roam the sky.
Poor and tired mice live on the ground.

It will all change when the mice become scarce, but until then?
greuzi is offline  
Old 5th Jan 2008, 18:41
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Essex
Posts: 12

Well done and nicely putt I think you've covered just about all angles.
I think there needs to be a bit more control from the governing bodies, several enforcements to be putt in place ie 1/ a minimum handling charge 2/ a minimum (sensible) ground time 3/ and prehaps some control over how many handling agents at any one airport.

It may sound a bit harsh but it will help, you wont have handlers trying to under cut themselves just to get a scratch of work, loaders wont be breaking their backs to turn a 73-800 round in 20minutes thus reducing sickness, and finally the rumour of menzies coming into STN, there's only just enough work at STN to support the 3 agents at present.

All of this is of course is just in an ideal world, where the people who actually make the decisions come and have a look at an operation instead of just watching it on 'Airport' !?!
South Side 1 is offline  
Old 8th Jan 2008, 11:03
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Essex
Posts: 41

Heads up...Has anyone heard from the meeting on friday with the big wigs and union about what's happening at work with the redundancys.......No news down the smoking hut nor around the restroom OR back office......Has it all been called off or are the management changing the shift patterns to bugger the work force up and recruit men for the permenant night shift so we all do 4/2 shifts.....lovely(not)!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 8th Jan 2008, 11:06
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 316

A good post but the SGHA does not set the handling standards just the services to be provided, the handling standards are set by a separate Service Level Agreement SLA and this is where the variations come in; but you are right about the food chain effect.

One of the issues is that VERY few airlines want to talk real service levels at contract time; they contract on price and then argue the SLA up after the contract award.


Trying to regulate the ground business would be a nightmare.
Standard ground times will never go back to the 45-60 for a B737 turn, nor should they in the majority of cases.
The problem is that few airlines actually understand or are prepared to anlyse their route network and adjust their ground times accordingly.
EZY did look at a 3 stage system (Clockwork programme?) some time ago but never adopted it. They were looking at business to business (ie lower bag loads; business to leisure and then leisure to leisure where the bag loads are highest. Servisair, as they were the main EZY handlers in those days, did a huge data analysis programme to understand and justify the differentials and then came Menzies and it all got blown away.

It seems rational to have a 20 min turnround on a B737 (it can be done, and it can be safe for all) but only if the bulk load is limited; when you get full B738 bag loads in and out then the groundtime needs to be extended. Add cargo into the mix and it gets more complicated. Trying to regulate this (domestically and internationally) would be almost impossible but local knowledge, flight schedules and historic data etc. could make the airlines far more responsive.

It is unlikely that airlines will ever adopt a rational approach as long as the current SGHA indemifies them against any claims for injuries sustained by the employees of the ground handling (or other serevice providing) companies and the short termination clauses are sustained.

There is an experitment ongoing (at least I think it is still ongoing) at LAX where the airport have set a minimum hourly pay rate for all handling companies to stop the downward contracting spiral - it will be interesting if it is a success. The idea was to set a rate that could attract AND retain good employees rather than offering pay based on a decreasing revenue base which meant taking whoever you could get at the rate offered - sound familiar?

Just as in the charter airline business I think that within the next 24 months, maybe sooner, there will be some major rationalisation within the European handling companies that will see fewer trading in the market; that in turn will than give them the opportunity to improve their rates.
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Old 8th Jan 2008, 12:42
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Essex
Posts: 12
Very interesting reading your reply Groundhand, I agree it would be a nightmare to implement but thought it would make the ground politics a bit easier but you've mentioned some very good facts and points which is always good.

I have heard a little rumour which some of you may find interesting but it will probably be dismissed, or some of you may already have heard, the merger of Servisair ramp and cargo and the operation to be run from the cargo building, to save money....................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Probably just idel gossip.
South Side 1 is offline  
Old 8th Jan 2008, 16:47
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: STN
Posts: 56
No official word on the merge of Cargo and the ramp so far, but what do you expect? Cargo say they have had builders in the shed and from what they got told it is to move the ops into the shed to run like Aviance, from Cargo.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 00:37
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Dublin
Posts: 178
This is really sad to hear! I worked for Servisair (not in STN) for over 2 years.

Its a great place to start and Ive since moved onto bigger and better things!

Good look to all whatever happens!
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 08:15
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
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It is unlikely that airlines will ever adopt a rational approach as long as the current SGHA indemifies them against any claims for injuries sustained by the employees of the ground handling (or other serevice providing) companies and the short termination clauses are sustained.

Dream on....Any aircraft location be it cabin or hold is a working environment for someone,therefore,health and safety law applies to the operator....ignore that at your peril!!!
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 08:51
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Posts: 75


Accept your point regarding the SLA defining the standards of service. Was a long post so I wanted to keep it simple.

Many airlines will issue an RFP defining the standards/timings they require so in the end it does just become just a numbers game which is unfortunate.

People do make a difference to service delivery but this is not always seen by airline procurement departments, as many of those people haven't worked at the sharp end. It still remains a case of A cheaper than B in most cases.

It will change in time as the current situation is not sustainable. Is just not nice to see the different handling uniforms falling out in the meantime.
greuzi is offline  
Old 9th Jan 2008, 10:11
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Posts: 316
Sat 1

You are right in thinking that but wrong in the reality of how the HSE manage the legislation in the workplace.

There is evidence to support the fact that the HSE do not recognise that the inside of the aircraft hold is the responsibiulity of the operator, they see the control of this working environment as the responsibility of the employer of the worker. Part of the rationale in this is the difficulty the HSE would have in processing any enforcement notices/prosecutions issued to a foreign operated aircraft. it seems that the Act does not cover this; another example would be Embassies of foreign powers, as small pockets of foreign land, are also not covered by the Act.

It gets further complicated by the bag hall (normally Airport owned and operated) and airline use of 3rd party ULD's.
The ground handling industry has tried very hard to pursuade the HSE to either issue enforcement notices or bring prosecutions against UK owned airlines where there is clear evidence of breaches in HSE legislation but they are VERY reluctant to do aso and, to the best of my knowledge, have never issued such an enforcement notice nor prosecuted any UK airline for a breach of HSE legislation relating to an issue with regard to a third party employee within an aircraft hold. They have, however, taken action against employers of workers injured whilst working within an aircraft hold. It also has to be said that the UK airlines generally do not support the UK handling companies in their efforts to get this changed; some of the biggest UK based carriers are very strong in their challenge that it is not within their powers to control this environment in the real world.

Examples of where I believe they could take action, but have failed to do so, would be an airline that did not maintain their inhold handling system to a reasonable standard; airlines who do not maintain the hold floor; airlines who insist on using damaged and dangerous ULD's; airlines who, by the terms of thier contracts, do not control the individual piece weights of either baggage or cargo.

The Ramp is a veery complicated area of operation in relation to responsibility in terms of H&S.
Take an example:

Airline A operate B738's and has a contracted bagagge allowance of 25kgs per passenger and allows pooling for groups. They also have a a 32kg maximum item limit.
Airline A contract check to Handling Agent 1.
Airline A contract Handling Agent 2 to provide ramp services.

A group of 4 check-in.
They have 3 bags; 1x22kgs 1x 31kgs 1 x 34kgs
The check-in agent fails to notice that one bag is 34kgs and ladso fails to HEA tag both the bags of 31kgs and 34kgs.
During the loading of the aircraft a loader inhoild damages his lower back having positioned the 22kg bag and the 34kg bag he feels his back pop whilst lifting the 31kg bag into position.

Who is at fault?
The airline for operating an aircraft where manual handling of anything over the 5-7kgs range has been proven to be dangerous to the individual by the HSE manual handling experts?

Boeing for manufacturing an unsafe tool?

Handling company 1 for not controlling the check-in correctly and refusing the 34kg bag and failing to HEA tag the 2 bags?

Handling agent 2 for not having a system of work that allows it's employees to check weigh any item before handling it?

The airline for not controlling it's sub-contractored handling agents?

I could go on...and on...
This is why the HSE are reluctant to get involved.

Ah, for the easy life!!
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 10:29
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Handling company 1 for not controlling the check-in correctly and refusing the 34kg bag and failing to HEA tag the 2 bags?
Thats a no brainer.

Also ref inboard systems u/s---the airline has a responsibility to ensure that the hold is maintained to a level whereby it is safe to work there.Its a working environment. But yes, it can be difficult,and no one wants to rock the boat too much.
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Old 9th Jan 2008, 10:35
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: uk
Posts: 235

I could go on...and on...
This is why the HSE are reluctant to get involved

Its their job,they get paid,and sometimes a test case is the only way forward.Relunctancy in this instance smacks of a true lack of willingness to actually 'make a difference'---or maybe i've been in aviation tooooooooo long!
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