Originally, there was an AGE-2B subcommittee that covered aircraft servicing. But it was decided that aircraft servicing and ground handling vehicles were synonymous, so the AGE-2B subcommittee was combined with the AGE-2C subcommittee and renamed Vehicle Maintenance & Aircraft Servicing.
Within the last year, the AGE-2D subcommittee was created to deal with packaging, handling and transportability (shipment of aircraft spare accessories, spare engines, etc.). The entire AGE-2 group comprises individuals from across the industry including the major airframers (Boeing, Airbus), ground equipment manufacturers, onboard equipment suppliers, container and pallet (ULD) manufacturers, ground handling and servicing equipment suppliers and, most importantly, the airlines themselves.
Sept. 11, 2001, as we all well know, changed aviation forever. As many airlines, ground equipment manufacturers and maintenance providers shedded operations and employees, this committee participation was decimated as well. Slowly, as these aviation businesses have re-defined their operations, the committee is seeing new projects and new participants coming forward for the sake of guidance and standardization.
Today, the AGE-2 committee’s objectives are basically what they always have been — to develop and publish useful information in the form of aerospace standards (AS), Aerospace Recommended Practices (ARP) and Aerospace Information Reports (AIR) to help progress the industry and improve efficiency through standardization. Members serve based on their knowledge, expertise and experience and not as agents or representatives from any organization.
Current standards development and revision activities include, but are not limited to:
- Communication with the Air Transport Association and Regional Aircraft Association concerning safety, aircraft ground damage trends and revision of AIR 1589- Aircraft Damage Caused by Ground Support Equipment.
- Review of ISO 6858 concerning electrical supply specification for aircraft ac and dc ground power. These specifications are being re-defined with respect to the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787, and Hamilton Sundstrand has taken a lead position in revising the document.
- Air cargo unit loading devices (ULD), cargo tiedown nets, fittings, cargo rings, performance requirements and test parameters.
- Shipping caps, covers, plugs, aircraft engine transport devices.
SAE AGE-2 is currently led by Chairperson Vic Urzi of Sage Parts, and Vice-Chairperson Hans van Rooijen of Telair International. With the assistance of sub-committees AGE-2A; Cargo Handling, AGE-2C; Vehicle Maintenance and Aircraft Servicing, and AGE-2D; Packaging, Handling and Transportability, SAE AGE-2 is generally recognized as the preeminent body for the development, collection, organization, and dissemination of related specifications and standards in the aviation industry around the world.
Personally, SAE has served me well technically in my 33-year aviation career working for airlines, ground equipment manufacturers and aviation product suppliers.
During one very large project, SAE standards were the basis for me to specify precise pre-conditioned air and external power connection requirements on new airline aircraft, saving our ground equipment technical group from what could have been a very embarrassing and costly oversight. The ability to have an active role in document development and frequently networking with experts in the industry has been invaluable.
The next AGE-2 committee/subcommittee meetings (No. 99) is set for April 21-23, 2008 in San Diego, Calif. Then, meeting No. 100 will follow Oct. 20-22, 2008 in Indianapolis, with special events being planned. For more information about attending, participating and networking with this committee, contact Ms. Maureen Lemankiewicz- SAE Committee Representative, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.sae.org for further information.
(A very special thank you to Chris Stratford, senior engineer, Goodrich Corporation for his extensive contributions to this article. Stratford is an SAE Member, SAE document producer and past SAE AGE-2A chairman).
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