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I was reading this page about Eurocontrol and flight plans. The author refers several times to a "local handler" who apparently assists in dealing with ATC.

What is a handler, who do they work for and what do they do?

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Related: Definition, a role part of the Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) – mins Jan 24 at 0:31
    
@mins from what I'm understanding the job I'm describing is different from a ground handler. Doesn't sound like this person deals with the aircraft itself but assists in other areas for the crew. – TomMcW Jan 24 at 0:36
    
I wonder if this isn't connected, I think the definition refers to companies like Aviapartner or Flightcare that are part of the new collaborative process in Europe, and should interface with CFMU to enter e.g. the target off block time if this is not done by the operator directly. – mins Jan 24 at 1:51
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Handlers are private companies who provide services (for a fee) to pilots and passengers when they fly in and out of an airport.

Depending on the airport, sometimes handlers are required by the local authorities to be used, and other times there are not even any handlers available (a lot of US airports do not have them, for instance). Often though, they are optional and there to assist crews that are unfamiliar with the procedures at a new airport or who want their assistance as a convenience.

They typically assist with coordinating things like fuel, lavatory service, flight plans, local permits, passenger transportation, catering, coffee/ice/newspapers, etc. Many times they pay for everything (in the local currency) and provide one consolidated bill for the client to pay.

Note that handlers can be employed by local FBO's (Fixed Based Operators), or they can be part of a larger international company that provides handling services all over the world. In either case, they are generally coordinating all of the different parties and services needed in order to operate an aircraft in and out of their airport.

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This sounds like solid info. However, how does this connect with the ATC aspect of the original question? – Jonathan Walters Jan 24 at 2:43
    
They help with the flight plans, which is about the only link to ATC that I can think of. – Lnafziger Jan 24 at 3:17

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