Bhadra Modernizes Ground Handling In India

Firm plans to replace the farm tractors commonly used at Indian airports by investing in talent, training, technology and $75 million in brand-new GSE.

“This has resulted in maintaining high standards of safety and on-time performance at all seven airports in our network,” Bajaj adds.

The company is also in the process of implementing the IATA’s Safety Audit for Ground Operations to further boost its SMS efforts.

Bajaj has also invested in technology with “BhadraTech,” an online system that keeps better track of cargo and equipment, and makes administrative duties, such as human resources and billing, that much easier.


Bhadra’s GSE fleet includes new equipment such as Schopf pushbacks; Hitzinger GPUs; Rheinemetal air starts; TLD conveyors and auto steps; Hydro towbars; Trepel cargo loaders and transporters; and Trepel tugs.

To give you some sense of scale for this large GSE investment, here’s the inventory at Chennai Airport:

  • Fifteen passenger coaches.
  • Fifteen pushbacks.
  • Twenty step ladders.
  • Fifteen conveyors.
  • Fifteen main deck loaders for wide-body aircraft, eight low deck loaders for narrow-body aircraft.
  • Forty-five tow bars.
  • Ten GPUs.
  • Fifteen cargo transporters.
  • Seventy-five battery-operated tugs and tractors.

Despite current economic woes, India is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies averaging an annual GDP growth rate of almost 6 percent over the past 20 years.

The Airports Council International expects the country to be the third largest aviation market by 2029.

For Bhadra’s part, Bajaj says that the government’s new ground handling policy covers some 40 airports throughout the country. And while he doesn’t have a monopoly on the business, his inclusion in the government’s initial ground handling plan of sanctioned vendors does put him in an advantageous spot to earn more business from what industry analysts estimate to be a $540 million market.

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