Traveling is a particularly stressful experience for millions and no mode of transportation creates more anxiety than flying. An uneventful trip makes everyone’s life easier—the traveler, pilot, airport manager, customer service representative, flight attendant and all other involved parties. To ensure a smooth experience, however, innumerable complex processes take place behind-the scenes at airports across the globe.

Myriad intricate systems are at work in and around airports and, collectively, they contribute to continued safe and uninterrupted aircraft operations. Aircraft and airport ground support equipment (GSE) refers to any vehicle or equipment used to service or support aircraft operations. GSE may be used in, on or around an aircraft, in the terminal or hangar or never (in the case of emergency equipment).

It is not an exaggeration to state that no airbase or airport can efficiently operate without proper GSE. Some equipment (such as an aircraft tug and tow tractor) is essential and used in the safe movement of each aircraft. Other types are used for cleaning, lavatory servicing, passenger access and miscellaneous convenience-related functions.

Specific supplemental procedures are absolutely essential for a well-functioning aircraft. These tasks include maintenance and fluid checks, airplane pushback,  ground power connections, taxiing and related processes. These and all GSE must only be operated by trained professionals to guarantee that all safety procedures are followed and also to realize the full range of benefits from using the equipment.

Adequate GSE demands a significant investment and, as is the case with every major asset, requires ongoing maintenance to protect and extend its usable life. Properly used and maintained GSE benefits its owners in these ways:


The appropriate use and maintenance of GSE not only means operators will reap its continued benefits but also prevents costly accidents, injuries and possibly death. Correct and thorough training, personal attentiveness and an organizational commitment to ongoing continuing education are essential for seamless and safe operations.

Equipment Downtime

When any piece of GSE is damaged or broken as a result of user’s negligence or error, the results can be catastrophic and increase stress levels for everyone involved in aircraft operations. Additionally, it can result in inconvenient delays for the aircraft, crew and passengers, create headaches for support and customer service staffs and, if a pattern develops, tarnish the reputation-and jeopardize contracts—of the employer. Operation by properly trained personnel minimizes downtimes and corresponding expenses.


Because of the costs associated with purchasing and repairing GSE, any amount of damage can unnecessarily tie up an owner’s financial resources. Regardless of the extent of the problem—from minor damage to full replacement— is will require an expensive fix. Therefore, it is important that all GSE be properly operated by qualified, trained employees.

AERO Specialties is one of the world’s largest and most recognized suppliers of new, used and refurbished GSE. As an industry-leader for nearly 30 years and with over 21,000 active customers around the globe, the company offers a range of comprehensive solutions for aircraft operations of any size and scope.

About AERO Specialties:

AERO Specialties is a trusted provider of aircraft and airport GSE solutions. From an aircraft ground power unit to top-of-the-line Eagle tugs and tow tractors, AERO Specialties supplies the widest range of GSE on the market.

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