Ground Handling Agent – GHA

Ground Handling Agent – GHA

When an operator fly from an origin to a destination, it  need to have a service provider for Ground Handling Services of an aircraft to check and accept the passenger, provide seating area for them, accept baggage, load cargo and baggage inside the holds, send information to destination about positioning of ULDs, fueling the aircraft, providing catering, prepare the weight and balance of the aircraft and,

at destination, a ground service provider have to provide facilities to disembark the passenger from the flight, unload baggage and cargo, clean inside the aircraft and make it ready for return flight, re-fueling, catering, loading cargo and baggage and send necessary information of load and passengers to arriving airport. This service Provider is called “GHA – Ground Handling Agent”.

Cargo Services

In cargo side a GHA should have sufficient facilities like high-loaders, dolly, truck, Load-Transporter … to perform loading/unloading of shipments. Other than loading/unloading of cargo from the aircraft, the GHA will perform several services for outbound and inbound cargo.

Some of the service for outbound shipments are;

  • Provide or arrange warehouse and storage facilities for General Cargo, Special shipments, Mail, Diplomatic mail, Company mail.
  • Place Cargo under Customs control for physical examination, as required by Customs.
  • Handle irregularities, damage, lost, found or mishandled cargo.
  • Prepare an air waybill for shipper. 
  • Obtain capacity/booking information for the carrier’s flights.
  • Split air waybill. Forward applicable copies of air waybill to the carrier. 
  • Prepare cargo manifest(s) and forward applicable copies to the carrier.
  • Check specifications of cargo ensuring that it conforms with Air Waybill and labels are affixed.
  • Check weight and volume of cargo.
  • Provide the weight of Bulk Cargo and built-up ULD’s for load control unit.
  • Provide the load control unit with Special Load Notification
  • Send related operational messages to the final destination


Some of the services GHA may provide for inbound cargo are;

  • Check incoming cargo against arrival cargo manifest.
  • Provide warehouse and storage facilities.
  • Make available cargo documents to consignee.
  • Notify consignee or agent of arrival of shipments
  • Issue or Obtain receipt upon delivery of cargo to consignee.
  • Take action when the consignee refuses acceptance or payment.
  • Provide or arrange for Collection of “charges collect” as shown on the air waybill
  • Handle lost, found and damaged cargo and report irregularities to the carrier.