Swissport training and audits
Date issue released
Safety Issue Description

Swissport did not ensure that the implemented training and audits for Link Airways Saab 340B dispatches incorporated all of the elements required in its Ground operations manual for pre‑departure walk-arounds.

Issue number
Issue Status
Open – Safety action pending
Transport Function
Aviation: Air transport
Issue Owner
Mode of Transport
Proactive action
Action number
Action Status
Action description

Following the occurrence, Swissport released a memo to be read and signed by all ramp staff (including dispatchers and trainers) stating that walk-arounds were required on Saab aircraft. Swissport also planned to conduct refresher training for all dispatchers on the walk-around in Swissport’s Ground operations manual. Swissport consulted with Link Airways to better define the responsibilities and expectations for dispatchers during Saab 340B operations.

Swissport advised that it transitioned to a new audit platform, and confirmed that audits under the new platform include a task to confirm that a walk-around is conducted by the dispatcher.

Swissport advised that, through its audit (assurance) department, ‘guidance notes based on items within a task for auditors’ would be considered for the new audit platform.

ATSB Response

The action taken by Swissport will help to ensure that walk-arounds are always conducted by dispatchers for Saab 340B departures. However, while the audits will check that a walk-around is conducted, in the absence of further guidance, they would not necessarily provide assurance that the different required elements are completed. 

The use of guidance notes within audit tasks would provide Swissport auditors with the means to check for these elements. The ATSB will monitor Swissport’s consideration and implementation of guidance notes within audit tasks, and any other relevant safety action.

Proactive action
Action number
Link Airways
Action Status
Action description

Link conducted the following safety actions:

  • Audited Swissport dispatches to ensure the procedures outlined by Link as contained in the ground handling manual were being correctly implemented.
  • Initiated an ongoing Safety Action Group meeting with Swissport, and other ground stakeholders, to provide assurance and risk management oversight to common identified hazards and occurrences.
  • Developed a Ground Operational Safety Program, designed to conduct random surveillance observations on ground handling activities, to seek deviances from standard operating procedures and confirm training standards.