In this regard, Mr. Mazen Al Amad Senior Manager Ground Operation Oman Air explained that The Gulf Airports Services Association (GASA), which was founded in 1968, is an association of 11 regional non-airline ground handling agencies comprising of OAS, ADAS, BAS, DNATA, FIA, KASCO, RIA, SAA, and UNASCO. He said that these agencies provide handling at Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Bahrain, Dhahran, Doha, Dubai, Fujairah, Jeddah, Kuwait, Ras Al Khaimah, Riyadh, and Sharjah. Members meet regularly to explore ways to work more closely together through the exchange of ideas on procedures, documentation, equipment, and training. The result is more cost effective handling and improved services. GASA is also on the front of establishing measurable service delivery standards equal to, or higher than international airline requirements.
He added that although competition for business exists among the GASA airports, it is realized that efforts to improve standards in general throughout the region will attract additional airlines for the benefit of all. The members of GASA are determined to continue their efforts to develop and improve standards in the region.
Oman Air Corporate Communications And Media notified that the 1990's have seen a spotlight on the Gulf area, with an increasing worldwide awareness of the travel opportunities available. New markets have opened up and this has resulted in the growth and expansion of several airports in the region. They said that several initiatives have been taken by GASA to ensure that its experience and resources are directed to give airlines, passengers and shippers higher levels of service than ever before. They have developed a training manual, together with a comprehensive range of training material on all aspects of ground handling and courses are conducted at various GASA locations. They added that DNATA Executive Vice-President and GASA former Chairman, Mr. Ismail Ali Albanna has handed over with the members’ blessings, the chairmanship to Mr. Mazen Al Amad of Oman Air who accepted the challenge.
Oman Air Corporate Communications And Media informed that Oman Air has been recognized by IATA as an accredited member of AHS 1000, for compliance with IATA/AHM 804 measurement of service delivery standards. OAS is the first ground handler in the Gulf region to achieve this recognition, since 1997 and to maintain until date. They concluded saying that Airport Handling Standard 1000 (AHS 1000) is a dominant quality measurement and control system introduced by experts of airline industry, in compliance with IATA AHM 804 for ground handling agents of airlines. (AHS 1000), which not only is now the most extensively used quality measurement and control system worldwide involving handlers and carriers, but is also IATA AHM 804 compliant. The next GASA meeting will coincide with an aviation exhibition and conference in Singapore in February 2008.