Qatar Aviation Services is the first to join the IATA environmental program for ground handlers

  • Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1041A7-ANN

    IATA/ICAO code:

    Airline type:
    Full service carrier

    Doha Hamad International Airport

    Year of foundation:

    one world

    Akbar Al Baker


Qatar Aviation Services (QAS) is a subsidiary of the Qatar Airways group. On Friday, it announced that it had become the first ground handling agency in the world to join the recently expanded International Air Transport Association (IATA) Environmental Assessment Program (IEnvA).

The extended IEnvA builds on the experience of IATA’s Airline Assessment Program and provides a framework for ground handling providers to achieve environmental sustainability in all operations. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar al Baker commented on the next step for QAS and ground service providers in general, in terms of sustainability and accreditation work,


“I am proud to lead the effort to create a sustainable aviation industry. Raising awareness of environmental sustainability throughout the organization is critical to the success of the Qatar Airways Group. Through IEnvA, Qatar Aviation Services will be able to demonstrate the value of environmental compliance and ensure sustainability in its operations.

The program provides a framework for environmental assessment and reporting. Photo: Qatar Aviation Services

IATA Director General Willie Walsh also expressed his thoughts on welcoming a new chapter for ground handling operators into the IEnvA system,

“We are delighted to have Qatar Aviation Services as the first ground operator to join IATA’s recently expanded IEnvA program. Sustainability is a crucial challenge for our industry. By taking proactive steps to measure their impacts and address them throughout their operations with IEnvA, QAS and Qatar Airways Group will support their sustainability achievements with the most comprehensive global standard environmental certification available in the industry.”

What is the IEnvA and who is registered?

IATA’s Environmental Assessment is a voluntary program focused on independently assessing and improving the sustainability performance of airlines (and now ground handling service providers). The assessment is, according to IATA, based on principles consistent with environmental obligations and accreditation and demonstrates equivalence to the ISO 14001:2015 environmental management system standard.

There are four categories on which airlines can be rated:

  • HEART – flight operations and corporate activities
  • heart rate – catering activities
  • GH – ground handling activities
  • MRO – maintenance, repair and overhaul services

Initially, airlines receive Stage 1 certification which is an intermediate step on the road to Stage 2 standards. The latter represents the highest level of IEnvA compliance. So far, six of the 28 airlines enrolled in the program have achieved Stage 2 certification, meaning they demonstrate “continuous improvement in environmental performance”.

Qatar Airways the airline achieved Phase 2 accreditation in the program in 2017. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Single flight.

Qatar Airways achieved Stage 2 accreditation in 2017 as the first carrier in the Middle East to do so. Other airlines in this category are Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge, Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways, Finnair, Icelandair and Turkish Airlines. Level 2 accreditation lasts for five years before expiring. Qatar Airways’ environmental commitment is therefore to be reviewed in the program before the end of the year.

Learn more about QAS

Qatar Aviation Services was established in 2000 and is based at Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha. Before the pandemic, it handled 225,000 flights a year and 2.2 million tons of cargo, providing services to 33 airlines.

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