Airports Authority of India (Ground Handling Services) Regulations, 2018
Published vide Notification F.No. AAI/OPS/707/GHR-2018, dated 26.10.2018
F.No. AAI/OPS/707/GHR-2018. – In exercise of the powers conferred by section 42 of the Airports Authority of India Act, 1994 (55 of 1994) and in supersession of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (Ground Handling Services) Regulations, 2017, except as respects things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, the Airports Authority of India with the previous approval of the Central Government hereby makes the following regulations, namely: –
- Short title and commencement.– (1) These regulations may be called the Airports Authority of India (Ground Handling Services) Regulations, 2018.
(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
- Definitions.– In these regulations, unless the context otherwise requires, –
(a) “apron” means a defined area of an airport intended to accommodate aircraft for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers or cargo, refuelling, parking or maintenance;
(b) “ground handling” means services necessary for an aircraft’s arrival at, and departure from, an airport other than air traffic control and it includes-
(i) ramp handling including activities as specified in Schedule-I;
(ii) traffic handling including activities as specified in Schedule-II; and
(iii) any other activity specified by the Central Government from time to time;
(c) “Ground Handling Agency” means an entity established for the purpose of providing ground handling service at an airport and security cleared by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and duly appointed by the airport operator;
(d) “maneuvering area” means the part of an airport or an aerodrome or civil enclave to be used for take-off, landing and taxiing of aircraft but does not include apron;
(e) “movement area” means part of an airport or an aerodrome or civil enclave intended for surface movement of aircraft including the maneuvering area and apron;
(f) “regular employee” means a person employed and paid for a regular work directly by the employer without the intervention of a contractor; and does not include contract labourers as defined in the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970 (37 of 1970);
(g) “royalty” means compensation, consideration or fee paid for providing ground handling services at an airport payable to the airport operator in addition to applicable land or space rentals;
(h) “Schedule” means the Schedule annexed to these regulations;
(i) “self-handling” means the ground handling services relating to its own aircraft or helicopter by an airline or helicopter operator or its hundred percent owned subsidiary through its own regular employees, using equipment owned or taken on lease;
(j) “terminal building” means the building or area of the airport or civil enclave which is used for embarkation or disembarkation or processing of passengers;
- Ground handling services at airports.– (1) All domestic scheduled airline operators and scheduled helicopter operators will be free to carry out self-handling at all airports including civil enclaves;
(2) A foreign airline may undertake self-handling in respect of passenger and baggage handling activities excluding security functions listed in paragraph 1 of AVSEC Order No. 03/2009 dated the 21st August, 2009 [enclosed as Annexure-I] at the airport terminals restricted to the passenger check-in at pre security hold area, at all the airports except civil enclaves;
(3) At the cargo terminal except civil enclave, all cargo aircraft operator may undertake self handling excluding security functions listed in paragraph 1 of AVSEC Order No. 03/2009 referred to in sub-regulation (2);
(4) At the airport having annual passenger throughput of ten million passengers per annum or above, the airport operator shall ensure that there will be three ground handling agencies including that of, –
(a) the airport operator or its joint venture or its hundred percent owned subsidiary;
(b) a joint venture or a subsidiary of the Air India; and
(c) any other ground handling agencies appointed by the airport operator through a transparent bidding process.
(5) At the airport having annual passenger throughput of less than ten million passengers per annum, based on the traffic output and airside and terminal building capacity, the airport operator may decide on the number of ground handling agencies, not exceeding three, including that of, –
(a) the airport operator or its joint venture or its hundred percent owned subsidiary;
(b) a Joint Venture or a subsidiary of Air India; and
(c) any other ground handling agency appointed by the airport operator through a transparent bidding process.
(6) A ground handling agency, with foreign ownership of fifty percent or more of its paid-up capital shall not be allowed to undertake ground handling activities at the civil enclave;
(7) At all airports, the joint venture or the subsidiary of Air India shall match the lowest royalty paid by the other ground handling agencies, as long as majority share in such entity is with the Government;
(8) The provisions of sub-regulations (4), (5) and (7) relating to subsidiary or joint venture of the Air India shall apply so long as such ground handling agency remains a subsidiary or a fifty-fifty joint venture of a public sector undertaking and in case such ground handling agency ceases to be subsidiary or a fifty-fifty joint venture of a public sector undertaking, the provisions of sub-regulations (4), (5) and (7) shall continue to apply to such ground handling agency at all such airports where it is operating as a ground handling agency, for a period of thirty-six months from the date such ground handling agency ceased to be a subsidiary or a joint venture of a public sector undertaking;
(9) No royalty is payable in case of self-handling; and
(10) All airlines, joint ventures, subsidiaries, ground handling agencies shall enter into an agreement with the airport operator for the satisfactory observance of performance of standards as may be mutually acceptable.
- Entry into terminal building or movement area.– Except as provided in rule 90 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937, the entities permitted to undertake ground handling services at airports under these regulations shall also be allowed to enter and remain in the terminal building or movement area.
- Security Protocol.– (1) All ground handling services shall be provided only through the regular employees of the entities permitted under these regulations;
(2) No hiring of employees through handling contractor or manpower supplier shall be permitted;
(3) An airline and agency allowed to carry out ground handling services at the airport shall ensure compliance to security provisions as required under any law for the time being in force; and
(4) The ground handling agency, unless it acquire the status of regulated agent or otherwise authorised to do so by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, shall not undertake the security functions listed in paragraph1 of AVSEC Order referred to in sub-regulation (2)of regulation 3.
- Equipment.– (1) At all airports, in order to overcome space and time constraints, the airport operator shall provide adequate number of common user terminal equipment (CUTE) and common user self service (CUSS);
(2) At the airport having annual passenger throughput of one and a half million passengers per annum or above, the airport operator shall provide adequate number of baggage reconciliation system:
Provided that where the annual passenger throughput is less than one and a half million passengers per annum, the airport operator may decide the number of baggage reconciliation system as may be necessary;
(3) All agencies concerned shall ensure the use of state-of-art equipment and best practices in line with the International Air Transport Association Airport Handling Manual; and
(4) The airport operator shall, as far as may be, provide adequate parking space for the equipment required for ground handling purpose, within the airport premises on mutually agreed terms and conditions.
- (1) All airport operators shall complete the process of selection of requisite number of ground handling agencies by the 31st October, 2018 unless extended by Government of India.
(2) The ground handling agency so appointed shall commence its operation expeditiously and in any case not later than the 30th June, 2019.
(3) Airport where duly appointed ground handling agency is already in place and where any agency which is not permitted under these regulations is operating, such agencies shall not be allowed to continue after the 31st October, 2018 unless extended by Government of India.
(4) Any agency which is not permitted under these regulations and carrying out the ground handling activities on the commencement of these regulations, at an airport or civil enclave other than those referred to in sub-regulation (3), shall be allowed to continue till the 30th June, 2019 or till thirty days from the commencement of operations by the ground handling agencies duly appointed under these regulations, whichever is earlier.
(5) The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security shall issue airport entry permits to the existing ground handling agencies till such time their operations are allowed to continue under this regulation.
- Aircraft handling:
(5) Safety measures;
(6) Mooring of Aircraft;
(7) Ramp to flight deck communication.
- Aircraft servicing:
(1) Liaison for fuelling and defueling;
(2) Liaison with suppliers for replenishing of oil and other fluids;
(3) Cabin Equipment;
(4) Routine and Non-Routine services;
(5) Cooling and Heating;
(6) Storage of cabin material.
- Aircraft Cleaning:
(1) Exterior cleaning;
(2) Interior cleaning;
(3) Toilet service;
(4) Water service.
- Loading or Unloading:
(1) Loading and unloading of passenger baggage;
(2) Transhipment of passenger baggage;
(3) Operation of Loading or Unloading equipment;
(4) Position and removing of passenger stairs or bridges;
(5) Emplane or Deplane passengers;
(6) Break or Make-up of baggages;
(7) Bussing of passengers or crew;
(8) Bulk loading or unloading of baggage;
(9) Catering ramp handling;
(10) Load control;
(12) Flight operations;
(13) Crew administration.
- Cargo handling services:
(1) Loading, off-loading, export, import and transhipment cargo on or from the aircraft;
(2) Mail handling services;
(3) Operate or provide or arrange essential equipments for handling of cargo;
(4) Transhipment of cargo;
(5) Palletisation or containerisation of cargo;
(6) Break-up or Make-up of cargo container or unit load device;
(7) Bulk loading or unloading;
(8) Cargo and mail handling;
(9) Customs control;
(10) Documentation handling;
(11) Physical handling outbound or inbound;
(12) Transfer or transit cargo;
(13) Post office mail.
- Support Services:
(2) Automation or Computer systems;
(3) Unit load device control;
(4) Fuel farm (Depot);
(5) Ramp fuelling or defueling operations;
(6) Surface transport;
(7) Catering services – liaison and administration.
- Terminal Services:
(1) Handling documents and load control;
(2) Passenger and baggage handling at the airport terminals;
(3) Cargo handling services at the airport terminals;
(4) Mail handling services at the airport terminal;
(5) Traffic services at the airport terminals including passenger check-in.
- Flight Operations:
(1) Inform the carrier of any known project affecting the operational services and facilities made available to its aircraft in the areas of responsibility;
(2) Flight preparation at the airport of departure;
(3) Flight preparation at a point different form the airport of departure;
(4) In-flight assistance;
(5) Post flight activities;
(6) In-flight re-dispatch;
(7) Communication system associated with Ground Handling;
(8) Material handling.
- Surface Transport:
(1) Arrangement for the transportation of passengers or baggages and cargo between separate terminals at the same airport;
(2) Arrangements for passengers or crew transport together with their baggage between airport and city or other agreed points.
- Representational Services:
(1) Liaison with local authorities;
(2) Information to interested parties, movement of carrier aircraft;
(3) Disbursement of payment on behalf of the carriers at all airports;
(4) Supervision and administration services.