Setting the Standards

Feature Setting the Standards George Prill reports on the first meeting of the SAE Aviation Ground Support Committees since 9/11 By Michelle Garetson/p> By George Prill June/July 2002 The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Aviation...


Mike Doane

Mike Doane from the UK-based Douglas Equipment Ltd. leads the discussion on towbarless tractors.

Vic Urzi

Vic Urzi of Sage Parts Plus steps in as Subcommittee Chairman.

The Cargo Subcommittee received a report from the NAS 3610 Oversight Panel. NAS 3610 is the long-standing (over 30 years) specification that lists the technical parameters for FAA airworthiness certification (TSO approval) of cargo unit load devices, (i.e. containers, pallets, and nets). The panel is working on an Aeronautical Standard that will serve the same purpose as NAS 3610 but will be much more user-friendly, more comprehensive, and can be updated in committee.

Briefly reviewing the 32 projects in work, the Sub-committee had a lengthy discussion on the subject of tie-down straps, and in particular about the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) that one company has obtained from the FAA. The basis for this STC was a draft of the ISO strap-specification that had been circulated through the Committee. The "abuse" of this draft has intensified the copyright procedures within SAE. AGE-2A is still planning to address this issue with the FAA and eventually apply for a Technical Standard Order (TSO).

Jim Jackson, ex-AAL and a recognized expert, pointed out that it is vital that the work of SAE AGE-2 be well represented in the final preparatory stage of ISO / TC-20/SC-9, (Air Cargo and Ground Equipment). The U.S. has only one vote out of the 10 primary Member States presently on the Subcommittee and one vote out of the 21 on the full Committee. It is very important that knowledgeable AGE participants be available to ensure that the Subcommittee's understanding of the intentions of the AGE is effectively supported. Without that support, the globally-involved users and suppliers will live with what the international community establishes.

Due to career changes, both the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee involved with traditional GSE vehicles and equipment resigned prior to the Monterey meeting. Vic Urzi, a long time supporter of the work of the Committee stepped in and chaired the event. A new Chairman will be elected at the next meeting, which would coincide with the normal election cycle.

This meeting of the Subcommittee was primarily used to reorganize the projects and reassign sponsors to review and/or complete documents 23 documents are up for the required 5-year review. This is an essential part of keeping Standards current.

In addition, 8 groups are working on new projects covering topics including Cabin Service Vehicles, Pre-conditioned Air Delivery Systems, GSE Airport Operations, Towbarless Tractors for Regional Aircraft, Alternating Current in Ramp Electrification, Fall Protection from Manned Aerial Lifts. Readers interested in these pieces of equipment should consider the need to take part in subsequent meetings.

The subject of aircraft ground deicing is handled by another SAE Committee G-12, a spin-off from the AGE-2 Committee. The possibility and desirability of bringing that subject back within AGE-2 was considered and will be reviewed further.

The next meeting of the Committee will be held on September 24-25, 2002 at the Key Bridge Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. For more information about projects or documents, please contact Rebecca Lemon at +724.772. 4083, or email

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