Regulators including the CAA, EASA and FAA and organisations operating in the ground handling industry are increasingly recognising the importance of human factors on the ramp. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, “the majority of ramp accidents and incidents involve some type of human error or violation of company policies, processes and procedures.”

A Ramp Resource Management (RRM) training syllabus has been developed by the ECAST Ground Safety Working Group (GSWG) and the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR). The intention of the syllabus is to provide ground service providers and/or airports with recommended content for RRM training. RRM training extends the principles of CRM/TRM training into the ground handling environment.

Ramp Resource Management programs contribute to more efficient and safer working environments for ground handlers and a reduction in incidents causing disruption and damage. Airline ground operations are often rendered under challenging environmental and organisational conditions -  physically demanding tasks, variable weather, night shifts, poor lighting, time pressure, staff shortages, and the interface with complex equipment are only some of the issues that characterise the typical working environment of ground handling personnel.

Incidents and accidents usually have underlying causes which are sometimes written off as no more than human error. Ramp resource management training aims to reduce the incidence of human error, with techniques to improve the interaction with machines, co-workers and the environment.

Research and experience in other fields of air operations including flight and maintenance have shown that HF training is effective in addressing many of the issues that contribute to adverse events.

The objectives of Ramp Resource Management training are:
  • Decrease the number of incidents of aircraft or equipment damage and personal injuries.
  • Create awareness of typical threats and errors in the turnaround process and provide tools on how to manage them (TEM).
  • Improve organisational barriers against human error.
  • Decrease operational disruptions.
  • Increase efficiency.
  • Contribute to creating and reinforcing a positive safety culture where employees practice safe habits.