Why ground support equipment is so important when you next travel.
We all love travelling – the excitement of visiting a different country and exploring a new culture is a very special feeling. Plus, all the new food that you’ll be trying for the first time. What’s not to like?
I personally travel most often by plane, it’s easy, fast and many times cheaper than spending a day out in London. Plus, I love airports (not a popular opinion, I know)! I think that airports are part of my travels rather than the means to an end. Airports are just like small cities with everything you need and for me, it’s super fascinating how everything works in order for passengers to have a stress-free experience (most times).
One of my favourite things to do at an airport is to go sit down next to one of those large windows, look out of it and notice all the airport staff and bits of equipment that are used for each plane to be ready for boarding. So, basically, I love people watching.
A few years ago, whilst I was people watching, I started to wonder what all the equipment was and what it was used for. Fortunately, one of my good friends works at Aviation Spares & Repairs, a company that supplies ground support equipment, which is all the equipment that is used at airports and airfields, and she was happy to answer some of my questions.
If you’ve ever wondered this yourself or maybe you children have asked you these questions, continue reading below.
What is ground support equipment?
Ground support equipment is any type of support equipment found at an airport, and as the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 149 explains, it’s “typically associated with the servicing of aircraft during the ground-based, airport turnaround process.” This involves equipment to power airplanes, such as generators, to move airplanes, such as tow tractors, to help load cargo onto the airplane, such as baggage belt loads and to aid passengers board, such as boarding stairs.
There are also various other tasks performed by ground support equipment, including restocking of food and water, airfield maintenance, aircraft refuelling and more.
Now, you can understand why this type of equipment is so important as after all, it ensures that the aircraft you are about to board is ready to safely take you to your holiday destination.