Conference Programme

05 February 2020

08:50 -

Quality people are hard to find and the good ones even harder to keep hold of in the high pressure, low pay environment of ground handling.

GHI will reveal the findings of our 2020 Skills Survey, which will investigate which frontline positions operators have the most difficulty hiring for and how the entire industry can work together for a more sustainable future for all. A panel of industry leaders will discuss the findings and how we ensure the employee talent pool is in place to meet the challenge of a widespread growth in passenger numbers over the next decade.

Amid difficulties in accessing different language skills and recruiting from outside of the airport staff pool, Global Load Control decided to go back to the drawing board to tackle its skills needs. The team came up with Lang vantage, a scheme that looked to hire disadvantaged youths and develop them to a certification level in German language encourage the right attitude and then train them up with technical skills. The scheme has yielded a band of highly motivated individuals and brought a morale boost across the business.

10:30 -

People are often described as a business’ biggest asset. But only if you’re hiring and developing the right kind of people. This session will explore how you recruit and train to enable employee excellence on the apron. What leadership behaviours pave the way for high levels of employee engagement and innovation? What is a high-performance culture and what steps can you take to create one at your station?

On-time Performance (OTP) is the governing performance metric for ground handlers and airlines alike. It underpins SLAs and a swing of just a few per cent can be the difference between a star station and an also ran. But, is everyone measuring the same thing when it comes to this fundamental KPI? When should the turnaround officially start and finish and do nuances in the way some airlines define ground time inadvertently set us on a collision course with carriers? This session will take a more detailed look at aviation’s dominant performance metric and discuss how standardising its definition could provide universal benefits.

The advent of autonomous GSE, smart bags/ULDs and automated check-in promises seismic changes in the tried and tested ground handling business processes around boarding and turnaround. What technological advances are coming our way and how do we use advances to improve employee productivity and communication between ground crews, pilots and other airport stakeholders? 
Speaker to be announced

A look at the training development programmes and employee engagement being deployed at Celebi’s new Istanbul station, which we will be visiting on the second day site tour. Derya Yusuf will preview the key areas to look out for during the visit.

12:45 -

Why does our industry not attract skilled people? The difficult working environment, the poor working conditions and the fact that many of these brave people need multiple jobs to pay their bills are just some of the barriers. This session will explore how we can work together to change perceptions of working in ground handling. On the agenda will be the idea of creating a diploma or certificate for a ramp agent recognised by the state or the industry and the measures employers can take to give staff a purpose to come to work and foster pride in their performance.

This session will explore Just Culture where front-line operators and others are not punished for actions, omissions or decisions taken by them which are commensurate with their experience and training, but where gross negligence, wilful violations and destructive acts are not tolerated. Nick Yeadon will explain how you create a business environment where people discuss process failures, rather than point the finger.

Companies in the top quartile of employee engagement outperformed bottom-quartile units by 10% on customer ratings, 22% in profitability, and 21% in productivity according to Gallup. So, what is employee engagement and how do we attain it in the fast-paced environment of the airport?

15:30 -

Many an SLA sets out to achieve a partnership approach between handler and airline, only for the goodwill to go up in smoke at the first hint of a dip in performance metrics. This session will explore the science behind a state of partnership between stakeholders and the cognitive pathways that lead to true collaboration. Crucially, how do handlers and airlines keep up when the pressure is on?

19:00 -

Sample some of the best Kebab Istanbul has to offer at a traditional Turkish eatery near Taksim Square. As you feast on some of the city’s finest cuisine, let your eyes drift across the river to the restaurant’s incredible view of historic Sultanahmet & Bosphorus.

06 February 2020

Workshop on recruitment and retention. How do you create career paths from operations to senior management?

11:45 -

Tour of the apron area, pushback observation and visit to the control room.
Q&A session to finish.

13:30 -