The Airport Services Association (ASA) was founded back in 1974 as The Independent Aviation Handlers Association (IAHA) and which in the meantime represents almost eighty ground handling entities worldwide, has announced two new important management roles.
Coordination with regulatory bodies is essential
ASA which is made up of members from airport ground handling companies and affiliated organisations, has been busy during the past years in making themselves known as the voice of the airport ground handling industry. To accomplish this, they have had to build up a dialogue with IATA, FIATA and other leading air transport related organisations in order to try and coordinate members wishes and needs with regards to aviation regulations and standards.
It’s not been an easy task as sometimes in the past the ground handling industry has felt left out of solution making which some strongly felt was dictated too much by IATA without giving the handlers a real say in how regulations and standards could, or best fit in with their day-to-day working agreements with the airlines.
Airlines have moved more towards partly or fully outsourcing their passenger and cargo handling responsibilities. These are being taken over by independent ground handling entities. Finding a common voice for all of these is not an easy task.
In the meantime, ASA with its various affiliate companies around the world have managed to make a voice for themselves and their members and now put much effort into coordination with important regulatory bodies. Internally, ASA is split into various working groups. One of them being the Cargo Group. Membership meetings are held on a regular scale and are usually tied in with international aviation trade fairs, where ASA members are most likely to attend.
New Chairman and General Director
As in other set-ups, management rotation in ASA is quite common. Normally the Chairman and General Director serve a two-year term, at the end of which a new management is voted in. This is the case this year with Fabio Gamba, Managing Director of the Airline Catering Association and Steve Allen, Divisional Senior Vice President of dnata taking the Director General and Chair positions.
Fabio Gamba takes over for a two-year stint at Director General. This position has been held by Jon Conway who was previously many years with dnata and who is very happy at the choice of successor. He stated that “I couldn’t have hoped for a better successor. Fabio is a highly experienced leader and expert in the aviation sector.”
Sally Leible, President of U.S. based Airport Terminal Services (ATS) who has held the Chair position since 2017 and who was also one of the founding members of IAHA / ASA, will be stepping down and is replaced by dnata’s Steve Allen.
Both gentlemen take up their roles in a well-functioning ASA forum but have much work in front of them in the coming two years to further ensure that the ground handling community’s wishes and demands are voiced and acted upon in the industry.
John Mc Donagh