AAAE's Aviation Ground Service Association

The new association is responding to the growing need, expressed both by airports and airlines, for greater efficiencies and enhanced networking regarding airline ground handling activities (both above and below wing) at airports around the country. The AAAE Board annually will appoint airport members to serve as policy board members to oversee AGSA. We are pleased to announce that the AAAE Board has approved the following members as initial AGSA policy board members – Bruce Carter, A.A.E., of Moline, Ill., Chair, and policy board members Paul Toth, C.M. of Toledo, Ohio; Eric Frankl, A.A.E., of Springfield, Ill.; Bob Selig, A.A.E., of Lansing, Mich.; Mike Landguth, A.A.E., of Chattanooga, Tenn.; Gary Cyr, A.A.E., of Springfield, Mo., and Tom Rafter, A.A.E., of Atlantic City, N.J.

Many small and medium size airports realize that, in order to retain air service, reducing ground handling costs and improving operational efficiencies are important to minimizing air carrier operating costs. Some airports and airlines also agree that an approved training curriculum offered through AAAE and AGSA will be a logical first step in moving forward with this venture. The initial focus of this association will be to support airports as they begin exploring avenues to provide more efficient and cost-effective ground handling service for airlines. This could be done by establishing operational and training standards for airports, or any others that are engaged in airline ground handling services. The association also will research the development of a ground handling credentialing/testing program for employees. The credentialing/testing program could allow greater mobility for ground handling employees and help standardize minimum requirements for employees in the industry.

This program is in its early stages of development, and AAAE will rely on industry feedback to help shape this important endeavor. To what degree airports will manage ground handling services is yet to be determined. Cooperation and a mutual understanding among airports, airlines and others is crucial to making this program a success – resulting in more efficient and standardized ground handling practices at our nation’s airports.

We invite your airport to consider joining AGSA. Members of AGSA would pay an annual membership fee to support the activities of the organization: $500 for airports and $1,000 for companies. If you are interested in joining, please complete the attached membership enrollment form.

Also, if you are interested in serving on the AGSA Policy Board, please contact Spencer Dickerson of the AAAE staff ( If you have questions or comments about AGSA, please contact Bruce Carter directly at or Spencer at the AAAE office.

Thank you for your time on this important industry initiative.

Elaine Roberts, A.A.E.

AAAE Chair