Ground handling includes the provision of a wide range of services:
For a complete definition of what is to be understood by these services, we refer to the definitions laid down in the Royal Decree of 6 November 2010 on the access to the ground handling market at Brussels Airport, as modified by the Royal Decree of 23 November 2014.
The access to the ground handling market at Brussels Airport is regulated via the Royal Decree of 6 November 2010 ("the Ground handling RD"), a transposition of European Council Directive 96/67/EC.
In accordance with the Ground handling RD, the following distinctions must be made:
The number of providers of ground handling services in the "Restricted Category" is limited to 2 or 3 handlers (depending on the handling category). This limitation is applicable to the handling categories of baggage handling, ramp handling of passenger and full-freighter aircraft, freight and mail transport between the airport terminal and the aircraft, catering transport and into-plane fuelling.
In execution of Article 11 of the Ground handling RD, Brussels Airport Company organises selection procedures at regular intervals with a view to granting licences for the provision of ground handling services to third parties within one or more of the "Restricted Categories” at Brussels Airport. The current licenses for the restricted categories are the result of a tender procedure which was published 2/2017. Licenses were granted for a duration of 7 years, started on 28/10/2018 and terminate no later than 27/10/2025.
The number of providers of ground handling services in the "Unrestricted Category" is not limited. These include all other ground handling services:
"Self-handling" means a situation in which an airline operator directly provides for himself one or more categories of ground handling services and concludes no contract of any description with a third party for the provision of such services.
As the market for the ground handling services of the” Unrestricted Category” and for “Self-handling” is open, these services are not subject to a tender selection procedure. Interested handlers must however obtain an approval of Brussels Airport Company and a recognition from the Belgian Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA).
For further information on the recognition procedure of the BCAA, please refer to the Ministerial Decree (MD) of 22 December 2014, on the approval of suppliers of ground handling services at Brussels-National Airport. This MD defines the criteria and the procedure for obtaining a recognition for the provision and performance of ground handling services at Brussels Airport.
Companies that wish to be active in one or more categories of ground handling services at Brussels Airport should have an approval of Brussels Airport Company and a recognition of the BCAA from the start of these activities. For this purpose, they must submit both requests for approval at least 4 months prior to the start of these activities.
The BCAA asks the concerned companies to express as early as possible their interest in obtaining an approval. For this purpose, you can send an e-mail to email@example.com mentioning the name of the company, contact information and the categories for which the company would like to obtain the approval.
For further information on the authorisation of Brussels Airport Company, please refer to ‘Self-handling and Third-party Handling’.