Pride of Ground Handling Awards Winners

More than 700 aviation business leaders gathered in Gothenburg last November to acknowledge the pioneers of outstanding ground services across the globe at the inaugural Pride of Ground Handling Awards Grand Final.

Meet the winners….

Unsung Hero Award Winner

Krish Chand, Swissport Canada Handling, Canada
Krish started out as a baggage handler 19 years ago and his boundless energy and passion for the job has never waned. He has seized new responsibilities and works as a fuelling manager, leadership trainer, mentor and high-performance culture change ambassador. The award was collected on behalf of Krish by Joerg Sutter, COO, Swissport Canada Handling (pictured centre). Our judges said: “Krish is highly valued by the whole community from management to his peers. He goes above and beyond to encourage others into our industry and makes you feel good about the future of ground handling.”

Rising Star Award Winner

Nick Ward, Swissport, Brisbane Airport
The judges said: “Nick embodies a visionary leadership style and has an ability to lift the performance of those around him. Nick has improved OTP and significantly reduced overtime through smarter scheduling and upskilling colleagues to work across multiple departments. Nick is a beautifully balanced leader with a blend of diligence and personal dynamism.” The award was picked up on behalf of Nick by David Krakowski, Vice President Commercial Asia, Swissport (pictured centre).

Ramp Safety Award Winner

Steve Mitchell, Stobart Aviation Services, London Stansted Airport
Steve scooped the award for his quick thinking and collaborative approach to ground safety. He seized the initiative when an aircraft being pushed by a neighbouring handler lined up for take-off with an unsecured hold door. Eagle-eyed Steve, radioed the Tower and aircraft with the warning. The award was collected on the night by Karen Stokes, Ramp & Operations Manager at Stobart Aviation.
Our judges said: “Steve took ownership of this incident, even though it wasn’t his operation. That is emblematic of a strong safety culture and is something that our entire industry should seek to replicate.”

Best Handler-Airline Innovation Award Winners

Swissport-Finnair, Helsinki
Our handler: airline teams co-developed an early warning app to flag up late arriving flights hours earlier than standard modes of communication allow. The advanced warning tool gives critical extra time to Swissport teams to accommodate off schedule arrivals. The award was collected on the night by Jean-Luc Payot, SVP Commercial – Europe, Swissport.
Our judges said: “This a great example of airline: handler teamwork and addresses one of the biggest challenges for the ground handling community: dealing with off schedule movements and allocation of resources.”

Best Station Award Winner

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl), Hong Kong 
Our judges hailed Hactl’s Hong Kong’s Air Cargo team as putting together “a near flawless” ground operation. The team took on a 60% increase in handling volumes last year, while continue to deliver world-class OTP scores - just 1 in 10,000 departures experienced a delay. There wasn’t a solitary incident of ground damage to report across nearly 30,000 freighters handled. It’s driven by a highly engaged and expert team whose passion for a perfect job spurs led to 27 unsolicited thank you letters and emails from airlines last year. The award was collected on the night by Wilson Kwong, Chief Executive, General Management, Hactl.