​​Ground handling is an integral part of airline operations. IATA strives to lead the industry towards improved safety and operational efficiency in ground handling by setting standards, initiating and encouraging the implementation of global solutions.

COVID-19: Please refer to information below on how Ground Handing should be performed during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Restart of Ground Handling from COVID-19 crisis

In an effort to support the industry with Return to Service and to maintain operations during COVID-19 pandemic, IATA together with various stakeholders, has compiled a series of reference guidance material for Ground Handling.

Webinar recordings

Ready for Push-Back - Restarting Ground Operations

Webinar: duration approx. 1 hr. 45 mins


Reshaping the Passenger Experience: Cabin Crew Prepare for Take-Off

Download the presentation(pdf)

Cargo in Passenger Cabin


Webinar: duration approx. 1 hr. 30 mins

GSE Storage - 2 webinars


Webinar 1: duration approx. 1 hr. Webinar 2: duration approx. 1 hr.


COVID-19 references

Contact Us

Please send any questions, recommendations or inquiries to groundops@iata.org

Utilization of Common Industry Standards

The ground operations stakeholders agreed that our industry needs to implement training requirements and operational procedures as documented in AHM Ch. 11 and IGOM.

Use of common industry standardization will lead to:
(a) Effective utilization of similar skill sets amongst different carriers
(b) Ease the return to service
(c) Minimalizing of safety & security events
(d) Effective and cheaper oversight of safe operations

Ground Ops. Training Implementation

IATA has developed a Ground Operations Training Program (AHM Ch.11) video to assist the industry in Ch. 11 implementation.

IGOM Adoption

IATA has uploaded the IGOM 10th Edition Gap Analysis Checklist (.xlsm) with the aim to increase the number of airlines and GHSPs performing the gap analysis between their GOM and IGOM as a basis of conformance and implementation of the IGOM.

To support this goal, IATA has produced two IGOM Adoption awareness videos to assist the industry with IGOM implementation.

​​​​IATA is in favor of the establishment of standardized performance-based procedures for ground handling operations supporting the industry based on ensuring ground handling activities are safely, efficiently and consistently accomplished.

Airlines and Ground Handling Service Providers who were able to demonstrate conformance to IOSA  RP GRH 1.6.9 and ISAGO RP ORM 3.2.2 during their audits are displayed in the IGOM Registry.

​Airport Handling Manual (AHM)

Passenger Standards Conference Recommended Practice 1690 A providing industry-approved guidelines for airport operations, such as passenger, cargo & mail, aircraft handling, load control, management & safety, ground handling agreements, ground support equipment (GSE) specifications and ground operations training. 

Purchase the AHM online

What's new in AHM Ed.41 (effective 1 January 2021)

  • AHM 440 Potable water servicing - (daily, weekly and monthly checks, should to shall) 
  • AHM 616 Human Factor Program - (new “dirty dozen” human factor best practices based on ICAO and FAA
    HF in GSE maintenance)
  • AHM 617 Occupational Health and Safety Management Program - (new cost model covering financial impact of incidents related to injuries and/ or ill health,  off-work period)
  • New AHM 640 Guidelines for Pandemic Management - (consistent approach to the management of a pandemic crisis and restart of operations)  
  • AHM 660 - Guidelines for Calculating Aircraft Ground Damage Costs - (overall update of  direct and indirect cost models for aircraft damage)
  • New AHM 903 Mobile Ground Support Equipment (GSE) Identification and Classification - (mobile GSE codes for computer systems and data exchanges
  • New AHM 918 GSE Storage and Return to Service 
  • AHM 1110 Ground Operations Training Program - (newly included job functions and training for  turnaround coordination, aircraft cleaning, electrical wiring harness interconnect system awareness)
  • New AHM 1111 Ground Operations Training Program during Pandemic Crisis - (guideline on how to manage a training program when an organization cannot implement AHM1110)

IATA Ground Operations Manual (IGOM)

The Passenger Services Conference Recommended Practice 1690 B contains ground handling procedures for airlines and ground service providers, providing instructions for frontline personnel.

In other words IGOM sets out “how to do” the job and has been developed as the single industry manual for ground operations  with goal of establishing:

  • Global standardization of ground handling policies & procedures
  • A common minimum level of safety
  • Policies & procedures as guidance by which ISAGO can audit

Purchase the IGOM online

What is new in IGOM Ed.10 (effective 1st April 2021)

  • Introduction -  updated risk assessment, introduction of IGOM Portal and Covid-19 related IATA document sources
  • Chapter 1 Passenger Handling  – revision an of entire chapter
  • Chapter 2 Baggage Handling - new process structure for baggage handling section, focus on baggage handling teams
  • Chapter 3 Aircraft General Safety/Servicing Operations - revised figurative for  Hand Signals, potable water servicing updates inline with AHM 440 and overall update of the aircraft cleaning to include disinfection procedures related to a pandemic
  • Chapter 4 Aircraft Turnaround -  aircraft loading (revision)
    • Minor changes to ensure consisting in the loading and unloading process
    • Unit Load Devices alignment with the ULDR
    • Aircraft loading – overview of loading cargo in pax cabin
  • Aircraft Ground Movement – entire revamp and resequencing of the aircraft ground movement to ensure consideration of all safety measures. Update of the communication tables during pushback incident, pushback incidence while using power push back, towing incident and new introduction of towing communication table


Change request submission 


IATA Ground Handling Conference (IGHC)

The IATA Ground Handling​ Conference​ is the industry prime event bringing together each link of the entire Ground Handling Value Chain to shape the Ground Handling environment for the future. This event offers unique opportunity to connect, communicate and collaborate with Airlines, Ground Service Providers, Airport Authorities and Suppliers and offers various business and networking opportunities.

IATA Ground Handling Partnership (GHP)

​The IATA Ground Handling Partnership is a forum of ground handling professionals who can influence the future of the industry by developing standards and solutions.

The GHP is open to non-IATA airlines, airports or other government authorities, ground handling companies who physically perform ground handling services directly as outlined in Annex A of the IATA Standard Ground Handling Agreement.

​​For more details, please contact us at ghp@iata.org​​​

Ground Operations Governance

To support mutual cooperation between all stakeholders, IATA works with all airline and their partners, including ground handlers, airports, aircraft manufacturers, as well as standardization bodies and regulators on the ground operations standards development.