​​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.

Ground Handling during 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.

New! GSE Return to Service e-learning course 

Get your staff ready to bring your GSE back into service

Aircraft cleaning and disinfection during and post pandemic (pdf)  

Ed.1, 19 June 2020

Spanish version: Ed. 1, 19 June 2020, Limpieza y Desinfección de la Aeronave durante y después de la Pandemia (pdf)

Ground handling return to service (pdf)

Edition 1, 8 May 2020

Spanish version: Edition 1, 8 May 2020  Material de Orientación para el retorno al servicio de las operaciones en tierra

What you will find in this document: Pandemic management; airport, personnel, and operational readiness - including anticipated safety risks for ground operations restart.

Ground handling during COVID-19 (pdf)

Last updated: Edition 5, 29 May 2020

Spanish version: Edition 5, 29 May 2020: Material de Referencia General para las Operaciones en Rampa durante el COVID19 (pdf)

Transport of cargo and mail in passenger cabin (pdf)

Last Updated: Edition 3, 4 May 2020
Spanish version - Edition 3 available soon.  Edition 2: Guía para el Transporte de Carga y Correo en Aeronaves Configuradas para el Transporte de Pasajeros (pdf)


Link to recording of Ready for Push-Back - Restarting Ground Operations

Webinar: duration approx. 1 hr. 45 mins


Link to recording of Reshaping the Passenger Experience: Cabin Crew Prepare for Take-Off

Download the presentation (pdf)

Link to recording of Cargo in Passenger Cabin webinar:


Webinar: duration approx. 1 hr. 30 mins

Links to recordings of GSE Storage 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 developed the IGOM Adoption Policy (pdf) with the aim to increase the number of airlines and GSPs using IGOM as the basis for their ground operations.

To support this goal, IATA has developed the IGOM Implementation Toolkit ​(zip) explaining the implementation process as well as two IGOM Adoption awareness videos to assist the industry in 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.

Companies who were able to demonstrate full compliance with the IGOM procedures (without variations) are displayed in the IGOM Registry.

​Airport Handling Manual (AHM)


The AHM is published ​as Attachment A of the Passenger Services Conference Recommended Practice 1690 and is the only industry approved standard for safe and efficient airport operations.

The AHM provides guidelines and recommended practices covering entire airport operations, such as passenger, cargo & mail, aircraft handling, load control, management & safety, ground handling agreements, Ground Support Equipment (GSE) specifications and environmental specifications for GSE operations.

Purchase the AHM in on-line store 

IATA Ground Operations Manual (IGOM)


The IGOM 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.

The IGOM is published as Attachment B of the Passenger Services Conference Recommended Practice 1690 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

Purchse the IGOM in on-line store. ​

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.