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Power by the Hour

Ground Support Equipment

Ground Support Equipment or it's abbreviation GSE refers to support equipment used in airports to service aircraft on the ground.

What is Ground Support Equipment?

As the name implies, the main function of ground support equipment is to support on-ground operations in between flights while the aircraft is parked at the gate, in a hangar or at a remote area. GSE is used to service commercial and military aircraft.

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See our selection of Ground Support Equipment

We combine customer-back innovation with an in-depth knowledge of the Ground Support Equipment industry to develop and deliver solutions tailored to your needs.

Examples of ground support equipment

During flights, aircraft operate independently but after landing, GSE must be employed to service, maintain, and prepare the aircraft for the next flight.

Efficiency is key to maintaining a minimal turnaround time, i.e. the time the aircraft spends on the ground. To support safe and timely ground operations, a variety of ground support equipment is available. Among those pieces of equipment, you find Ground Power Units (GPU) supplying 400 Hz power and Pre-Conditioned Air (PCA) unit, creating a comfortable environment for the aircraft staff and passengers.

Other GSE examples are e.g. pushback tractors, stairs and passenger busses.

itw gse 7400 eGPU in portugal

Why do you need ground support equipment?

GSE is important to carry out operations on the ground.

Efficient and reliable ground support equipment is key to ensure smooth turnarounds and on-time departures thus avoiding delays, costs and inconvenience for passengers.

GSE is essential to perform a turnaround – you cannot carry out a turnaround without any GSE. For example, you need a pushback tractor to make the aircraft leave the gate and you need belt loaders to quickly bring the luggage to the passengers.

Also, some GSE provide safety on the apron, as for example the passenger busses transporting the passengers safely from the remote parked aircraft to the terminal.

Aircraft support equipment

Aircraft support equipment helps ensure efficient ground operations.  This includes supplying the aircraft with power for lights, cleaning etc., refueling the aircraft, unloading and loading cargo and luggage, and providing fresh air to create a comfortable temperature.

What is aircraft support equipment?

Aircraft support equipment is ground power units, pre-condition air units, stairs, container loaders, belt loaders, refuel equipment etc.

ITW GSE specializes in ground power units, pre-conditioned air units, cables and hoses, all of which are critical to smooth ground handling.

power units product category    pca units    aircraft cable products      hoses  products category

itw gse 7400 in Yangzhou Taizhou China eGPU


What is the life cycle of ground support equipment?

The life cycle of GSE is determined by various factors, such as installation, environment, usage, maintenance and overall design.

Equipment with few moving parts, such as solid state GPUs will have less wear on components than rotating GPUs. Additionally, PCAs with soft start capability on blowers and compressors will reduce mechanical stress and extend service life.

From the extensive reference list of GSE, delivered world wide, ITW GSE can verify that GSE can last longer than 15-20 years, with proper maintenance and operation.

What kinds of ground power units are available?

There are different kinds of Ground Power Units (GPU): battery driven eGPUs that are completely independent power sources, solid-state GPUs that depend on electrical input, and diesel driven GPUs that depend on diesel fuel. The battery GPU and the solid-state GPUs are considered cleaner and greener whereas the diesel GPU leaves a big CO2 footprint.

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