Monday, May 29, 2017

IATA Ground Handling Conference Underway in Bangkok

 The 30th International Air Transport Association (IATA) Ground Handing Conference (IGHC) began today in Bangkok, Thailand.
To kick off the conference's opening sessions, Joseph Suidan, head of ground operations, aiport passenger cargo and security for IATA, welcomed attendees to the Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Center, emphasizing the importance of working together to solve problems facing the ground handling profession.
"It is vital that we are working on what the industry wants and needs," Suidan said. "This is why we run this conference."
Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, minster of transport for Thailand, offered insight into the devlopments taking place in the host country and called attention to the safety and security measures being put in place. 
Arun Mishra, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regional director, Asia and Pacific, noted the need to develop the next generation of aviation professionals. He added speed, efficiency and accuracy is imperative for ground handling operations in order to minimize turnaround times and handling costs, but at the same time, the industry is under constant pressure from increased competition, rising passenger and cargo traffic and other factors.
"The industry has become more complex and challenging, and there is a greater need to work together," Mishra said. "We need to come together as never before ... to ensure a more efficient operating environment."
Nick Careen, senior vice president of airport, passenger, cargo and security at IATA, spoke about the ways the industry is rapidly growing and changing.
"We always seem to have our set of challenges. But one thing very important to recognize is that there is no other industry on the planet as resilient as ours," he said.
He also spoke to the importance of the people in the industry. 
"At the end of the day, we still rely on human beings," Careen said.
Other opening speakers, repesenting Thailand and the surrounding region included Phakkhra Ruangsiraddecho, executive vice president of the aviation business unit at Thai Airways; Conrad Clifford, regional vice president, IATA Asia Pacific; and David Walker, CEO Jardine Aviation Services Group.
The morning session also featured a look at the finalasts for the first IGHC Innovator award; a panel on employee retenntion; and an overview of the benefits of virtual reality training.
The IGHC continues Tuesday and will conclude Wednesday.

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