GSE Training: A well-kept secret?

Editor’s Note

Keeping On Track

By Michelle Garetson

March 2002

Michelle GaretsonTraining. One of the most important elements in one’s career and one of the most neglected items by employers — regardless of industry. Proper training enhances the employee’s confidence in their job, in themselves, as well as in their employer. Proper training also can prevent accidents that result from a lack of understanding of procedures or equipment operation.     

Add to this the continued consolidation of ground service providers and the subject of training becomes a bit more fuzzy. With consolidation comes a mixed bag of trained personnel, and, possibly assumptions of training levels achieved by the newly merged staff.     

Many of the calls and emails received by the GSE Today offices have to do with training. Not just for specific equipment, but also with regard to airport ramp operations, hazardous materials, and management training.

Actually, there is quite a bit of training for aviation ground support and ground handling services personnel in addition to on-the-job training — but it seems to be a well-kept secret. In our February 2002 issue, we featured an article on the Federal Aviation Administration’s Runway Safety initiative for airport ground vehicle operations.(See "We’re Here to Help You" pg. 52). The International Air Transport Association (IATA) offers courses – some of them online – for anything from Station/Ground Handling Management to Airline Ground Operations Safety Audit. There is even a diploma course offered in Air Cargo.

Training is a critical issue for the GSE community and deserves more consideration than just an article here and there. That’s why GSE Today will be featuring a different aspect of training in each of our remaining issues for 2002 — whether it’s equipment specific or if you’ve become a GSE supervisor for the first time and have not previously had formal management training — we will address these topics to offer guidance in those areas. Please see page 17 for a variety of training offered to the GSE community.      

If you know of any training that would benefit those in aviation ground support and ground handling services, let us know. As mentioned previously, training has been a well-kept secret, but secrets such as these can lead to unnecessary expense and injury. Working together, we can bring up the level of competence and safety on the ramp.

Thanks for reading.

Michelle Garetson

Michelle Garetson's Signature

Editor’s contact information: or call 920-563-1622