Specialist Function – Aircraft Handling

The main purpose of an aircraft handling ground operative is to ensure that the full array of aircraft services are completed correctly, including; marshalling, chocks, ground power, correct operation of lower hold doors, loading and unloading passenger baggage and cargo in accordance with aircraft manufacturer and current carrier/organisational regulations. An aircraft handler must be an effective diligent and proactive team member; displaying a high degree of care to aircraft, equipment and customer goods, be responsible for their own actions and to be a good ambassador for their organisation

Knowledge and Understanding



The procedures for marshalling and controlling the movement of aircraft and vehicles, including requirements and importance of distance, speed, and safe positioning of an aircraft and vehicles.

Effectively use the correct marshalling hand signals and techniques required to safely position and manoeuvre vehicles into and around the aircraft.

Loading Instruction Report

The purpose of a Load Instruction Report (LIR), the key information contained therein and why it is important and relevant to every aircraft movement.

Correctly interpret information on a LIR and ensure procedures within own role are conducted according to the report.

Load and unload

A team member’s responsibility for the safe, correct and timely on-load/off-load operation, and use of Unit Load Devices (ULD) and restraints to ensure the safety and security of loads.

Complete loading and unloading of aircraft safely within the allocated time in accordance with the LIR and organisational procedures, including, restraint / unrestraint of a ULD and baggage nets following supervisor’s instruction.

Specialist equipment, including unit load device serviceability

The requirements for, and operation of, specialist equipment and vehicles used on and around the aircraft , including the need for serviceable Unit Load Devices (ULDs), to prevent damage to the aircraft, baggage and cargo and own responsibility as part of the team.

Identify the correct specialist equipment that is required for specific purposes on, at and around the aircraft to achieve the desired outcome, including serviceability check of ULDs and report on both serviceability and defects in accordance with organisational procedures.


Own role in aircraft servicing/turnaround management, aircraft services, pre/post use checks of holds and all hold locks

Identify the services required to facilitate an aircraft arrival, departure or turnaround and prepare / configure aircraft holds for departure