ANSI: Progress Made at Aviation Industry Expo 2006

June 20, 2006
ANSI made progress this year at its annual meeting during the GSExpo at Aviation Industry Expo in Las Vegas.

I, Bob Backer, chairperson for ANSI A92.7 subcommittee (Airline Ground Support Vehicle Mounted Vertical Lift Devices) am pleased to announce that significant progress was made during this year’s GSExpo at Aviation Industry Expo. For the second year in a row, I activated the meeting concurrent with the GSExpo held in Las Vegas in order to take advantage of the synergy gained via airline equipment manufacturers and user/owners while attending the show. Prior to this it was held in the fall of the year during the main ANSI A92 meeting with little or no participation. The standard has not been upgraded since 1990 and was in dire straits of needing to be revamped. This year’s agenda had key targets that I wanted to accomplish with the members and participants that included:

Complete a New Draft for Circulation

SIA, the secretariat for ANSI A92.7, is finalizing the input gathered from members and participants at this year’s meeting. Once I have critiqued the preliminary draft, the members and participants will sprinkle their input one more time. The goal is to have it available for the next level of scrutiny that is for this fall’s main A92 committee meeting. The A92.7 subcommittee elected to utilize applicable sections of the current draft of A92.6 subcommittee for “self-propelled elevating work platforms.” This standard is near release and has much of the “boiler plate” items that the A92.7 standard was able to adopt for consistency. Likewise, there are SAE, IATA, ISO and CEN standards that were studied and in some cases referenced to assure that key elements are maintained relative to critical design and safety requirements.

Expand the Scope of the Standard

Commercial trucks having scissor lifts mounted to the chassis for maintenance along with catering vehicles are the current classes of equipment represented by the existing standard. With utilizing scissor and mast type lift mechanisms for refueling and hydrant vehicles, they have been adopted by the new standard. Also it is recognized that not all vehicles are commercial types and can be designed job specific, having a unique chassis incorporating vertical lifts. Likewise the advent of the Airbus A380 will certainly require some newly designed pieces of apparatus that the standard wants to capture so as not to have any nebulous creations without appropriate guidelines.

Increase Membership & Participation

The committee has had only four active members for several years that did not capture all the entities that were felt necessary to contribute to the overall intent of the standard. It has now more than doubled in membership as well as having gained “cross pollination” from active participants representing such disciplines as consumers, distributors, experts, insurance, labor, testing, regulatory and manufacturing bodies. With this expanded group of intellectuals, the task of assuring that the new standard is representative of this particular sector of equipment utilized by the airline industry has been taken to a new height.

Promote Safety through Training

At this juncture it would appear that much of the safety initiatives that are promoted at the GSExpo are oriented towards the personnel performing maintenance of the aircraft. Without a doubt this is admirable. However, there is also the need to have the people that operate and maintain the equipment that service the airlines better trained insofar as eliminating/minimizing incidents that could be harmful to both personnel and aircraft. For this reason the subcommittee is concurrently active in upgrading the corresponding “manual of responsibilities” that range from dealers, owners, users, operators, lessees and lessors. This document clearly defines responsibility for each entity toward providing the proper training for such equipment within the scope of the standard.

Increase Airline Industry Awareness

By virtue of this article, the efforts of the A92.7 subcommittee will have helped accomplish this goal. I made an effort the day prior to the meeting as well as the day after to “cruise the show,” and introduce myself, the subcommittee and the work that is being achieved. Scaffold Industry Association (SIA), the secretariat for ANSI A92 and its subcommittees, had a booth set up where Eloise Schultz was boasting the efforts and achievements as well. Between A92.7 and SIA, there was a “one-two punch” effort at bringing awareness to the folks attending the show. Overall, I once again have increased confidence that having the A92.7 meeting held concurrent with the GSExpo has aided not only in fulfilling the necessity to upgrade the standard but all of the aforementioned items.

Bob Backer is vice president of marketing and product development for New Morgan, Pa.-based Blazing Technologies Inc., an engineering and manufacturing company specializing in electric- and hydraulic-powered utility vehicles and custom-engineered equipment. Backer has more than 35 years experience in construction equipment product development, including hydraulic cranes, forklifts and telehandlers at Pettibone and aerial work platforms at Grove Manlift. Backer is also an AWPT accredited instructor for both self-propelled scissor lifts and boom lifts. He can be contacted at [email protected].