5th Americas GHI Conference Programme

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25 June 2019

10:00 AM -
10:45 AM



From the impact of soaring staff attrition to having a representative say in new airport developments, what is the mood among frontline operators on the apron? GHI will reveal the results of an exclusive pre-conference survey of aviation business leaders across the Americas and lift the lid on experiences around recruitment/retention, stakeholder relationships, GSE pooling, contract negotiation and business growth.

North America is a superpower of global aviation while Latin America is set for annual air passenger growth rates of near 4%, well above the world average. Yet on the apron, acute workforce attrition, patchy infrastructure and poor alignment between stakeholders is threatening to put the brakes on growth. GHI invites you to have your say on operating conditions on the frontline, as we invite a panel of handlers, airports and airlines to come up with a blueprint for seizing the growth opportunities ahead.


12:15 PM -
2:00 PM

We will provide extensive detailed information from the operator's perspective, featuring a simulation of a real time load test and the unique advantages our units offer. Generated test reports will be the result of our gathering with participants to obtain technical specifications for their own needs; and a test report for their local technical or maintenance teams can be acquired. Demonstration is also oriented to management personnel and marketing solutions for civil and military testing equipment. Questions and short discussions are always welcome both during and after demonstration.
Jernej S. Kalsek, Sales Manager, Dekal Load Banks

Ruben Atehortua, Ground Operations Director at Colombia’s flagship airline, Avianca, identifies the big trends in ground service provision across Latin markets and what changes the carrier foresees in the traditional airline-GSP dynamic

Ossie David, of JetBlue Airways, reveals the hallmarks of the carrier’s most successful handler and airport partnerships in the Americas region. This case study-led presentation will examine the hallmarks of strong cross collaboration between airlines, GSPs and the airport and ask how influential shared key performance indicators (KPIs) are in achieving success. What should the chosen KPIs be, how do you measure them and what benefits are unlocked through teamwork?

3:00 PM -
3:30 PM

Leadership coach and former aviation manager, Desiree Perez, will explain how you can address high turnover in your business without having to spend a fortune. The session will explore the skills churn in the Americas, look at the challenge of motivating millennials and explore why good people are so hard to keep hold of. Does it all come down to pay at the end of the day?

Following a presentation, Desiree will invite delegates to take part in an interactive exercise, which will help you understand the importance of feedback and coaching in ensuring your employees do the right thing at the right time.

GHI’s Meet the Airline Speed Networking Forum aims to boost your networking opportunities with attending airlines, whose busy schedules may not permit all their formal One-to-One Meeting requests to be accepted. The format will offer delegates quick-fire introductory slots with carriers and the chance to swap contact details.

5:30 PM -
7:30 PM

26 June 2019

A look at the main trends and challenges facing aviation in the Latin America region. Which markets are experiencing the fastest growth and how are stakeholders working together to make the most out of the expected boom in air passenger traffic?

Panama has been ranked number one for the quality of airport infrastructure out of 23 countries in the Latin and Caribbean region. Aviation growth has helped fuel economic development with a £2.2bn contribution to GDP and 238,000 jobs stemming from the aviation sector. What were the conditions that enabled Panama’s growth, what role did the public and private sector play in driving investment and what are the lessons for other countries looking to emulate Panama’s success?

10:00 AM -
10:30 AM

ICT.aero Turnaround Coordinator Mobile App is a paperless ground handling solution, which simply converts your SGHA obligations into simple to do tasks on a mobile device therefore allowing you to capture data, monitor SLAs, prevent revenue leakage, all at the push of a button.
Rami Al-Haddad, Director – Airport Technologies, ICT.aero

What is a fair and commensurate pay for ground handling employees expected to ensure the safety of thousands of passengers and multi-million dollar aircraft? And, how do GSPs operating under notoriously tight margins create a viable plan that allows them the capacity to review pay? This session will look at the opportunity for improving efficiency, adopting new technology and driving innovation in ground services. 

A case study-led presentation examining how In Solo Ground Handling has supercharged its KPIs by empowering frontline employees to assess and improve workplace processes. The presentation will discuss the emphasis placed by In Solo on training, the application of the Plan, Do, Check, Act review and shaping an honest and open working environment based on truth and transparency.

What is life like on the apron at Tocumen International Airport? And how are local ground handlers helping drive rapid aviation growth in Panama? This session will hear from Ricardo Barrero of Balboa Logistics and Airport Services, a Panamanian GSP.


12:30 PM -
2:00 PM



If you are a ground handler, staff are your most valuable, and most expensive asset. Making the most efficient use of staff is key to a well-run, profitable business. FiNDnet Shift Optimiser replaces manually intensive systems used to calculate staffing requirements with a fast, integrated and automated solution. Resource data is seamlessly transferred from demand plans to quickly produce optimised shift patterns for all your resources, at all stations, for any period. Simple, fast and efficient, FiNDnet Shift Optimiser helps you maximise the potential of your staff and reduce labour costs.
Paul Bruton, Senior Consultant, Damarel

Learn how a truly mobile Departure Control System can help augment existing passenger handling operations and provide the flexibility to increase throughput, passenger experience and save costs.
John Kiss, Director, Business Development, Airline Choice

From exotic fruits to fresh orchids, roses and lilies – Latin America has a thriving supply of export products best suited to air transport. But, is infrastructure and technology at the airport keeping pace and do the same skills frustrations that we’re hearing from PAX operators also plague the air cargo sector?
Other panellists to be announced

3:00 PM -
3:30 PM

Presenting the business and technical case of retrofitting 25 year old GSE a with BodyGuard kit.
Michael Bar-on, VP Product Management, Tri-Logical Technologies

After decades of a single state-owned company delivering GH services, the Argentinian government has opened the market for any local or international company willing to provide ground handling services in the 40+ domestic airports. The session will outline the current and future airport infrastructure, operational services and facilities.


Identifying aviation growth trends across the Americas: from Brazil’s economic recovery and LCC travel in Latin America to airport expansion in the maturing North American region. This session will rank the five biggest growth markets, discuss M&A activity and explore ground handling trends from North to South.


GHI’s Meet the Ground Handler Speed Networking Forum aims to boost your networking opportunities with attending ground handlers, whose busy schedules may not permit all their formal One-to-One Meeting requests to be accepted. The format will offer delegates quick-fire introductory slots and the chance to swap contact details.

6:30 PM -
10:00 PM

27 June 2019

Gary Ogden, of Nextgen Business Brokers, assesses the GSE purchasing habits among ground handlers across the region and the habits of a successful procurement policy. The session will also investigate the suitability of GSE pooling and uptake of new electric and biofuel alternatives.

Rodrigo Simões, an experienced maintenance practitioner from commercial aviation, will examine how applying aviation management techniques to GSE could galvanise equipment performance during turnarounds.

11:00 AM -
11:30 AM



A US$1bn project to equip Santiago International Airport with a new runway, 25 extra gates and the scope to handle 19 million passengers is well underway. But, has anyone involved ground handlers in the conversation and what are the consequences of failing to collaborate properly as a host of new airport developments take shape across the region?

Despite rises in air passenger volumes, growth among Caribbean carriers has stalled. This panel will explore the factors and assess how operators can address challenges around competition, monopolies and sourcing experienced, skilled staff.