The Value of Industry Standards to “Bouncebackability”

by Terry Yeomans

Once this pandemic scare ends and restrictions start to lift, now, more than ever, is the time to get back to basics, using the standards and best practices documented and implemented from within the IS-BAH. Show your customers, both old and new, a proactive approach in readiness to help spearhead the economic recovery.

The total systems approach of the IS-BA programmes is a perfect example of how going above and beyond can help better prepare you for the unforeseen challenges we all face today.  By opting to do more than the basics, hopefully you have created the framework for a constant flow of new possibilities that for example raise helpful questions such as “why do we do it that way?” “Is there an alternative?” “What if we did it differently?”

Focus on what you can control.

The Safety Management core you have implemented will be your focus. Start with resourcing levels and the coordination of your emergency response plan, and at this time your contingency resilience planning to return to normal business as quickly as possible.

You will no doubt have new hazards identified and associated risks to mitigate. There will be significant changes to identify and manage effectively:

Performance delivery - Managing any impact of the event on SPIs and SPTs and the expectations of stakeholders.

  • Staffing – reduced numbers on shift, skill/knowledge gaps, alternative sources for staffing: During this recovery period your strategy may be primarily concerned with short term staffing issues and basic service delivery. Staff may find themselves working in unusual areas and under stressful circumstances, so ensure safe staffing levels have the correct skill mix. Ensure there is a process for briefing and debriefing staff between shifts in unfamiliar roles.
  • Data / systems – there maybe new, enforced requirements.
  • Premises – access, resources, client expectations.
  • Communications – regular updates on progress, social distancing.
  • Equipment – cleaning, social distancing.
  • Supplies and suppliers – are they readily available? What changes have they introduced that will affect your abilities?
  • Compliance monitoring – rapidly changing regulatory requirements, how will you manage these?
  • Security – potential access control changes, social distancing, access to hand sanitizer in airside environment (LAG restrictions)
  • Documentation – possible changes to SOPs following MoC. Consider deviations that enable all affected areas are restored to an agreed standard so that they are ‘suitable for use’.
  • Training – what guidance is there to alleviate any training requirements in line with local, national regulations?
  • OHSA – IS-BAH 9.5 Travel Health Issues, will be at the centre of your risk assessment right now and will have a huge impact going forward. The use and supply of PPE, both in recovery and in the future.
  • Fatigue implications - reduced staffing, changes to shifts patterns, and increased likelihood of working alone.
  • Airside operations – review touch points for aircraft, doors, servicing panels, towing points, internal / external cleaning.
  • Pax and baggage handling – social distancing in all aspects from the lounges to security, temporary pass issue and cleaning, escorting and boarding processes. Unloading and loading of baggage. Passenger / rental vehicle storage processes. Food hygiene and storage.
  • GSE operations – cleaning


Continuous Improvement

Once the bounceback is complete, take the opportunity to discuss all lessons learned.

Think about:

  • How your teams worked together?
  • How the recovery process was implemented?
  • What were the challenges to recovery?
  • How was the liaison with suppliers and contractors?
  • Are there any changes and improvements you can implement into “business as usual”?

For more information about how to become recognized worldwide as an IS-BAH registered Ground Handling Service Provider, contact Terry Yeomans, Programme Director for the IS-BAH™ at