Ground Support Equipment (GSE)

This page last reviewed April 15,2014

ground support equipment


This category includes new and in-use ground support equipment (GSE) used in airport operations. GSE perform a variety of functions, including: starting aircraft, aircraft maintenance, aircraft fueling, transporting cargo to and from aircraft, loading cargo, transporting passengers to and from aircraft, baggage handling, lavatory service, and food service. As a group, GSE largely comprise off-road types of equipment fueled by either gasoline or diesel.

As part of the 1994 State Implementation Plan (SIP) for ozone attainment, control measure M15 focused on the need for emission reductions from aircraft. Federal law preempts California from setting emission standards for aircraft. In response to the South Coast's extreme nonattainment classification, a consultative process was developed to focus its efforts on airport activities to help achieve the emission reduction goals of the SIP. One of the main goals of this process was to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for GSE that would be a voluntary program providing reductions in hydrocarbon (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions beyond what is required.

The GSE MOU was developed in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Air Transport Association representing the major airlines, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the five major airports in the South Coast Air Basin. It was signed in December 2002. The GSE MOU includes provisions for the early introduction of clean units, with requirements for a 2.65 grams per brake-horsepower hour HC+NOx fleet average in the South Coast Air Basin by December 31, 2010. Other major provisions include the introduction of electric or zero-emission vehicles into the fleet and the use of diesel oxidation catalysts and diesel particulate filters to significantly reduce particulate matter emissions from the diesel portion of the fleet.

What's New Update

Several emission reduction programs targeting in-use fleets, including airport GSE, will be implemented by the ARB. Those measures include the air toxic control measure for portable engines, new emission standards and fleet requirements for forklifts and other industrial equipment, and in-use requirements for off-road diesel vehicles.

Under the terms of the MOU, the airlines would have been exempted from new regulation of in-use programs until the MOU expired. However, the airlines chose to exercise their option to terminate the MOU, effective January 1, 2006. The airlines are choosing instead to focus their efforts and resources on the new and future regulatory programs that will affect airport GSE.


Related Links to Other Off-Road Programs