Ground Support Equipment: What Are They For?

Ground handling services by airlines are comprised of the tasks performed on the grounds of an airport’s terminal gate. Now, let us tackle the different air cargo loading and ground support equipment that they use. Here are some of the most important ground support equipment for beginners.

The Passenger’s Steps, Stairs, and Boarding

This is comprised of boarding ramps, stairs, car, and aircraft steps that enable passengers and airline crew to access the aircraft. Many aircraft have doorsills that are about 5 to 20 feet high. Stairs are required to access the cockpits and cabins.

The Airport Buses

These are used to transfer passengers from one terminal to another. Airport crew often refer to them as mobile lounges or people movers. These airport buses are similar to standard buses, but they have very low floors and wide doors for fast and easy access to and from the bus.

The Container Loaders

Also known as K loaders, these are used to help load and unload pallets on and off any aircraft.

The Dollies for Baggage

These are used for transporting loose pieces of baggage, such as cargo cartons, mailbags, and more. They provide a brake system to hinder the wheels from moving when not required.

The Chocks

Chocks are utilised to prevent aircraft from moving back and forth while parked. These are made of wood or rubber and are lodged in the back and the front side of the wheels of the landing gear.

The Refuelers

The aircraft refuels are made of either mobile carts or self-contained vehicles. As the fuel needs of aircraft are huge, refueler trucks can carry up to 10,000 gallons of fuel. The smaller versions are often used with a hydrant mechanism that connects to the refueler, making refuelling logistics for airports convenient by giving more refuelling options from the truck.

The Aircraft Tripod Jacks

Aircraft tripod jacks are utilised to support planes while they are parked on the ground. Since the aircraft can, later on, become very tail heavy when passengers disembark, it may then be supported by the tripod jack.

The Tugs and Tractors

The most essential equipment for ground support are tugs and tractors. The tugs are in charge of moving certain types of equipment that are too huge to be able to move. These include bag carts, lavatory carts, and air starters.

The Ground Power Units

These are mobile power units specially designed to supply power to any parked aircraft. There is a GPU that is placed directly onto the jet way for an easier and faster power supply access. The power needs of an aircraft can range anywhere from 28 of direct current to 115 volts 400 Hz of alternating current.

Airplane container loader

The Portable Water Trucks

The task of portable water trucks is to offer safe, filtered, and potable drinking water to any aircraft. These vehicles use pumps to push the water off the truck and onto the aircraft.

Airports rely on these ground support equipment to service not only aircraft but also crew and passengers.

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