Both commercial and military aircraft are designed to operate independently when they’re in flight. After they land, however, a host of aircraft ground support equipment — or aircraft GSE — must be employed to help service, maintain and repair the planes. GSE is also used to help prepare them for their next flight or mission. That’s why aircraft GSE is a crucial part of keeping any fleet safe, operational and on schedule.
For convenience or cost-control reasons, many airlines subcontract their ground services and handling to subcontractors or another airline. Nevertheless, the need for reliable ground support equipment is universal at all airports, hangars and busy avionics maintenance areas.
What Is Aircraft Ground Support Equipment?
So what exactly is aircraft ground support equipment? A good way to answer this question is by addressing what types of functions GSE supports. In most instances, once a plane has landed, GSE is used to assist with everything from the aircraft’s mobility and power needs to the transport of passengers and cargo.
Across all applications of GSE, safety, speed and accuracy are of the greatest importance. Of course, ground support equipment manufacturers must meet rigorous design and materials standards to ensure their equipment is both robust and reliable enough for safe and effective operation — even during peak times.
The broad term GSE includes everything from gangways and service stairs to baggage loaders and refuelers. Further categorization applies to GSE that’s non-powered — like wheel chocks, cargo dollies and tail tripods — as well as powered examples of GSE such as belt loaders, pushback tugs and ground power units.
Uses of Ground Support Equipment
With a diverse range of services required between most flights, GSE is utilized for the safe and timely execution of the following activities:
- Aircraft towing and parking
- Passenger unloading and loading
- Cargo unloading and loading
- Drainage of waste tanks and lavatory facilities
- Refueling of the aircraft
- Potable water replenishment
- Fuselage inspection
- Engine maintenance
- Catering services — including the restocking of food and beverages
- Electrical power supply to gated aircraft
From enclosed cargo dollies to mobile air conditioning units and tractors, there simply isn’t a thing an aircraft needs once it’s on the ground that isn’t made possible with the help of specialized GSE.
JETechnology Solutions for the Best in OSHA-Compliant Ground Support Equipment
At JETechnology Solutions, we put our 75 years of combined service to the aviation industry behind every 100 percent all-American piece of ground support equipment we make. What’s more: When it comes to quality control and industry know-how, our ISO 9001 compliant quality system testifies to our commitment to provide the best products and services we possibly can.
In addition, since safety is paramount in and around aviation workspaces, our full line of work platforms and GSE are designed and tested to meet all applicable OSHA compliance standards and regulations.
To learn more about our full line of aircraft GSE, feel free to contact us today. You can also reach out directly for answers to your questions by contacting a JSI engineer.