What Is the Purpose of Ground Support Equipment?

If you are not working at the airport, you’ve probably never heard of Ground Support Equipment. And that’s completely ok. Ground Support Equipment or GSE as it is widely known is the ground equipment that is used to service airplanes when they are not in flight.

The terms refer to machinery various vehicles and any other type of equipment necessary for maintaining and preparing airplanes for takeoff or catering to it once it lands. GSE is used in commercial and military sectors and it is quite similar.

In this article, you will learn more about GSE and how it works.

No flights Without GSE


Just from the introduction, you’ve figured out what GSE is. However, we have to say that there would be no flights had it not been for GSE which a lot of people don’t even notice. The airplanes need to be inspected and prepared for the next flight and being efficient is crucial.

The crew needs to maintain a minimal turnaround time and the plane needs to be ready to go as soon as possible. Some of the most important pieces of equipment are Ground Power Units and Pre-Conditioned Air units.

Also, you can find stairs, passenger busses, and pushback tractors. Basically, everything you see on the ground and around the airplane falls under the category of Ground Support Equipment

Going Hybrid


With the advancements of technology new hybrid GSE has emerged and there is a large number of companies that provide such equipment. Hybrid Ground Support Equipment is definitely taking over the regular GSE and for multiple reasons.

They reduce the cost of operation and they are preserving a lot of energy. Also, by getting the hybrid equipment, you know that you are doing a good deed and respecting the environment.

These vehicles have regenerative breaking. If you don’t know what that is, it basically means that the battery is being recharged whenever you press the breaks. That’s great news because people maneuvering these vehicles need to break a lot, to position the stairs for example, or deliver luggage to the airport after a flight.

Also, it can be crowded around the runway which means that you will break a lot. In other words, most of these vehicles operate on electric energy during a shift.


Now you know the basics of GSE and how it works. However, we haven’t even scratched the surface and we’ve only provided some basic information for you. You can explore more about hybrid ground support equipment online and see how it differs from the regular GSE.

Furthermore, there are so many pieces of equipment and vehicles which we haven’t mentioned since that wasn’t the focus of the article. But you’ve seen them all. You can find everything from container loaders, transporters, catering vehicles, tugs and tractors, dollies, and so on.

It takes an experienced crew to manage everything, but the job becomes easier with hybrid units as they are more durable and easier to drive.