The Airport Services Association (ASA) has had quite a busy 2017. ASA which represents ground handlers and industry partners worldwide had a change of management in early 2017 and the board of directors have endorsed what they term as the ASA Vision, Mission & Values.
“One industry voice - one global association”
That’s the target set by Jon Conway, ASA’s Director General who took over the reins from Samim Aydin early last year. Samim, after a lengthy tenure as head of ASA, decided to hand over responsibility and retire from the association. Mr Conway has also been busy in what he calls “adopting a back to the basics approach” to the handlers needs. Not an easy task these days considering the present atmosphere between carriers and handlers on the costing side.
One of ASA’s main objectives is still to be recognised as an equal partner by the mightier IATA, ICAO and ACI organisations. Also not an easy task as maybe these three may well feel endangered by ASA’s presence and closeness to the ground handlers and their problems. Much of ASA’s work is centred around setting up a viable networking platform among the handlers where all can share and exchange (within relevant competition rulings) ideas along with other industry stakeholders on how to better their decision making as a whole.
The strategic objectives laid out by ASA are many and need constant updating and involvement by its members. For example, new services and products are tabled at regular meetings as well as data exchange especially in the area of aircraft ground damage reporting and the suchlike.
More involvement in cargo matters?
At first glance air cargo does not seem to be that high on ASA’s working programme. This is not the case, however, as there are nine additional board members, some who are active in air cargo areas. It would may be of benefit to the air cargo handlers if ASA were to increasingly lobby the airlines with regards to the much published drawbacks cargo handlers are experiencing at present. Our recent reporting on the above has shown that staffing problems and finding adequate handling potential is becoming a nightmare for almost all handlers.
In this respect, ASA could surely use their experience and contacts to try and get the carriers and handlers representatives around the table in order to finally draw up a plan to alleviate the problem before it gets too late.
John Mc Donagh