Ground support equipment or GSE are the ground vehicles and tools found at most airport terminals. GSE equipment is used to service the aircraft between flights and support the aircraft operations while on the ground. The primary function of GSE equipment is to provide support for aircraft mobility, ground power procedures and loading operations which can include passengers as well as cargo. Speed, efficiency and accuracy are important in ground handling services in order to minimize the turnaround time, (the time the aircraft remains at the gate). The quality of the GSE equipment is vital as constant breakdowns will cause delays and repairs are not cost effective.
Non Powered Equipment
* Dollies – Dollies are used to transport loose baggage, mail and cargo between the aircraft and sorting facility. Dollies for unit load device (ULD) and cargo pallets are equipped with a standard flatbed or platform and used for large containers and stacked pallets of merchandise.
* Chocks – Chocks are used to prevent the aircraft from moving while parked at the gate or hangar. Chocks are placed in the front (fore) and back (aft) wheels of the landing gear and usually made of hard wood or rubber.
* Tripod Jacks – The aircraft tripod jack is used to prevent the tail of the aircraft from dropping or falling to the ground when parked.
* Refuelers – Aircraft refuelers can be a self-contained fuel trucks, hydrants or carts. A hydrant cart or truck hooks into a central pipeline network and provides fuel to the aircraft. Fuel trucks are self-contained, typically holding up to 10,000 gallons of fuel and have their own pumps, filters, hoses and equipment. There is a significant advantage with hydrant systems when compared to fuel trucks which need to be replenished.
* Container Loaders – Containers loaders, also known as cargo loaders or “K” loaders are used to load and unload containers and pallets into and out of the aircraft. The loader has two platforms which ascend and descend independently.
* Ground Power Units – A ground power unit (GPU) supply power to the aircraft while parked and grounded, often ground power units are built on the jet way for easier access and increased convenience.
* Tugs – Tugs and tractors are used to move equipment that cannot move itself such as baggage carts, air conditioning units, lavatory carts, air starters and the aircraft itself when leaving the gate.
* Water Trucks – Portable water trucks deliver water to the aircraft, the water is filtered and protected from the elements while being stored in the container on the truck.
* Lavatory Vehicles – Lavatory services vehicles empty and refill lavatories on the aircraft, waste is stored in tanks on the aircraft and them emptied and refilled with a sanitized concentrated liquid.
All GSE equipment can be rented or leased through a reputable company such as Mercury GSE, which has been providing quality equipment for over 30 years.
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