Load Control Agent
All airlines are responsible by statutory and regulatory requirements for the safe loading of aircraft and for preparing standardized documentation in the form of a loading instruction and a load sheet for each flight.
In particular, the airline must ensure that the centre of gravity of an aircraft always remains within certified aircraft limits, as it directly affects stability and maneuverability of the aircraft. It must also ensure that the aircraft is never overloaded, as this has a direct effect on its performance and will cause serious problems (for example: the fuel on board might not be enough for the planned journey).
The load sheet is the final calculated document of the actual loading as well as the fuel and passenger figures onboard the particular aircraft, which proves that the aircraft is within the limits mentioned above. This is the most important document which GLC provides. It signs off the flight from a weight and balance perspective and gives the go-ahead for the flight to depart with regard to its part in ground operations.
The Load Control Agent:
By providing the weight and balance services to our customers and managing the many steps that need to be taken care of before a flight can actually depart, you as Load Control Agent at GLC form our core business and a crucial part in the flight handling process.
The first step in the flight handling process consists of the Estimation of the Zero Fuel Weight. It starts a few hours before departure time and basically takes into consideration a first estimation of expected load figures (like passengers, cargo, mail, bags, crew, etc.). All our processes are supported by a special flight handling system that allows you to easily switch between flights and different flight handling processes.
As a second step, the Load control agent needs to create and send a Loading Instruction. It forms an integral part to ground operations and is the final document used by the ramp agents at the station to load the aircraft. The issuing of the loading instruction provides crucial information on weight distribution, passengers, cargo, bags, trim, dangerous goods and any other information that the flight may require when it comes to weight and balance handling.
The Load Control agent is also responsible to monitor and include any changes that might happen during the actual loading of the plane. For example, it might occur that the cargo department confirms an unexpected shipment that needs to be planned on the flight. In this case, the loading of the aircraft needs to be adjusted from GLC’s side and a new loading instruction has to be issued in order to guarantee the safety and correct loading of the aircraft at all times. The ramp agents at the station will then act accordingly and eventually re-load the aircraft according to the load control agent’s planning.
As a last step shortly before the actual departure time, the Load Control Agent needs to issue a second official document – the Load sheet. It contains a summary of actual loading and all flight relevant information and is an important information tool for the pilots.
This coordination of all flight handling processes means intensive cooperation between different departments and/or with other colleagues involved in the process, like pilots, ramp agents, check-in personnel, flight managers, gate officials and cargo departments.