5 Pieces of Equipment Used by Ground Support to Aid Planes

5 Pieces of Equipment Used by Ground Support to Aid Planes

Ground support equipment (GSE) is critical to the aviation industry’s ability to maintain the efficient and seamless functioning of aircraft when they are on the ground. This specialized equipment helps with a number of functions, including cargo handling, passenger boarding, and maintenance and refueling. Maintaining high standards of aviation efficiency, safety, and dependability requires ground support equipment. This post will discuss five essential pieces of ground support gear that keep airports operating efficiently and assist aircraft.

Aircraft Tugs and Tow Tractors

To move an airplane on the ground, you need an aircraft tug or tow tractor. The purpose of these ground support equipment and trucks is to push or pull aircraft between hangars, runways, and gates. From tiny regional planes to massive commercial airliners, tugs can handle a wide range of aircraft sizes and designs. An aircraft tug’s main job is to move airplanes in tight areas where running the engines would be dangerous or impossible. To guarantee safe and effective mobility, tugs are built with strong engines and precise steering. They lessen the chance of accidents during ground movements and contribute to fuel consumption reduction. Airports may maximize gate utilization and preserve a smooth aircraft flow by employing tugs.

Ground Power Units (GPUs)

Aircraft parked at the gate require the delivery of electrical power, which is made possible by ground power units or GPUs. In order to maintain onboard systems like air conditioning, lights, and avionics when the engines are off, an aircraft needs a consistent source of electricity. This power is supplied by GPUs, which prevent the aircraft’s battery from running out during turnaround times. GPUs can be installed permanently at gates or as mobile devices that are placed on cars. They provide the voltage and frequency that are required to meet the needs of the aircraft. GPUs contribute to keeping the airplane comfortable and ready for passengers and crew by supplying external power.

Aircraft Refueling Trucks

Aircraft refueling trucks make it easier to refuel an aircraft safely and efficiently, which is crucial for aviation operations. To move gasoline from airport fuel farms to aircraft, these specialized trucks are outfitted with fuel storage tanks, pumps, and pipes. Strict safety regulations must be followed by refueling trucks in order to avoid gasoline leaks and guarantee correct fuel distribution. The capacity of refueling trucks varies based on the size and kind of aircraft they support. They are made to work with several aircraft fuels, including Jet A and Jet A-1. Modern metering systems on the vehicles provide precise fuel supply and monitoring. Refueling operations are essential to keeping aircraft fueled up to date and to sustaining flight schedules.

Baggage Handling Systems

Systems for managing baggage are essential to the efficient running of airports and the prompt departure of aircraft. Passenger luggage is transported from check-in to the aircraft and back using a variety of equipment, such as baggage trolleys, belts for conveyors, and automated sorting systems. The majority of the sorting and routing work is done by automated equipment and conveyor belts, with baggage carts being utilized for human luggage transportation over the tarmac. The goal of these systems is to guarantee timely transportation of luggage to and from the airplane, eliminate handling mistakes, and lower the possibility of luggage being lost or damaged. Ensuring customer happiness and sticking to flight schedules need efficient luggage handling.

Aircraft Deicing Vehicles

In order to maintain safe flight operations under winter weather conditions, aircraft deicing vehicles are essential. Deciding whether to deice an aircraft before departure is essential because snow and ice buildup on its surfaces can have a negative impact on both performance and safety. Vehicles used for deicing have hot fluid sprays installed to melt ice and stop it from accumulating. These vehicles deice airplanes by mixing water and glycol. To melt snow and ice, the hot liquid is sprayed onto the fuselage, tail, and wings. Flight scheduling and deicing procedures are closely synchronized to save delays and maintain safety. In order to sustain airport operations during severe winter weather, deicing trucks need to be able to perform effectively.


Aircraft operating on the ground must have ground support equipment in order to function effectively and safely. Every piece of equipment is essential to keeping airport operations running, from moving planes and providing electricity to refueling, managing luggage, and deicing. Utilizing specialist ground support equipment improves operating effectiveness, shortens turnaround times, and guarantees crew and passenger safety. Ground support equipment development and improvement will be essential to maintaining the high standards of efficiency and safety that are associated with air travel as the aviation industry grows and changes.

Written by Joshua Galyon

Joshua is a senior editor at Snooth, covering most anything of interest in the world of science and technology. Having written on everything from the science of space exploration to advances in gene therapy, he has a real soft spot for big, complicated pieces that make for excellent weekend reads.

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