Message from the CEO

In July 2017 I started my responsibilities as Groundforce Portugas Chief Executive Officer. I accepted the challenge with the aim of consolidating the sustainable growth strategy defined in 2013, with the acquisition of 50.1% by the Urbanos Group.

The year 2017 presented great challenges that I led with pride. I counted on the commitment of all the workers who the Company to good operational results, guaranteeing the renewal of important contracts and the acquisition of new clients.

Also in 2017, we concluded the tender for the licenses to the ground handling activity in the categories of baggage, cargo and ramp operations at the airports of Lisbon, Porto and Faro. The National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) issued positive reports for all licenses, and Groundforce was the winner in all tenders.

In the second  semester of 2017, we returned to Faro, after an absence of seven years, fully operating in the south of the country and providing a service similar to what we have been developing in the Airports of Lisbon, Porto, Funchal and Porto.

For 2018 we have defined four strategic pillars: Integration, which materializes in customer service; Agility, which is characterized by responsiveness; Transformation, which aims to adapt the company to modern and efficient ways of operating based on automated processes and Accountability, which aims to implement meritocracy based on autonomy and responsibility.

With these guiding principles in mind, we want to reaffirm our role as a player in the national airport ecosystem and focus on the financial soundness achieved in recent years.

I emphasize the role of all Employees in the collective success and acknowledge the trust that the customers place in Groundforce Portugal, as well as the cooperation of the Board, Suppliers, Auditors and partner entities that, directly or indirectly, contributed to the results already achieved.

Groundforce Portugal is stronger to face the challenges of the future.

The dedication and commitment of all employees, along with the quality of service, will be the fundamental ingredients to face the future with serenity and conscious of the work that we still have to carry out.

Paulo Neto Leite, Groundforce Portugal's Chief Executive Officer

We are a reliable company that provides its Clients with an excellent service. That is why we are industry leaders.

We believe that keeping our business relies on environmental and social sustainability and that our greater assets are our People and clients.

  • Our vision

    To be a reliable company that adds value and security conditions for all Stakeholders in a sustainable way.

  • Our mission

    That each Passenger believes that the excellence of their flights starts or ends with the excellent service provided by Groundforce Portugal.

  • Our values

    To be honest, enjoy satisfying our clients at all times, challenge and get better in what we do, be passionate about people, act as a team, measure our success by means of sustainable gains and work for the world are our Values.

Shareholder Structure

Organization Chart


The Force of History

The history of Groundforce Portugal goes back to the beginning of civil aviation in Portugal, with the creation of the Air Transport Department on March 14th, 1945 under the responsibility of Humberto Delgado, the then Director of the Civil Aeronautics Secretariat.

This company’s journey as an independent entity started in 1982 with the autonomy of TAP’s Ground Operations Department (DOT), later named General-Directorate of Ground Operations (DGOT), in 1989, as the result of an organizational restructuring process. TAP’s Handling Division was created in the next decade, in 1992, as a consequence of a strategy for expansion and provision of services to third parties. The stops LIS, OPO, FAO and FNC stood out.

The split of the handling business unit was approved by TAP SGPS and TAP SA in April 2003, and a new company named SPdH – Serviços Portugueses de Handling was then created, succeeding TAP in ground operations.

SPdH – Serviços Portugueses de Handling, S.A. started its operation on October 1st, 2003, consolidating its position as a key unit in the field of civil aviation in Portugal, namely due to the quality of the services provided to TAP Portugal and main airlines flying to Portuguese airports.

Also in 2003, SPdH and Portugália Airlines entered into an agreement by means of which the second largest Portuguese airline ensured a stake of 6% in the capital of SPdH – Serviços Portugueses de Handling, S.A.. This partnership allowed to maximize the company’s growth potential in the Portuguese market and initiate the internationalization process.

Meanwhile, the process for the privatization of SPdH was initiated by selling 50.1% of its capital, via International Tender, allowing the entry of the shareholder structure to the Globália Group

With the new shareholder structure and as a consequence of TAP’s history, Portugália’s dynamism and Globália’s dimension, the new company brand – Groundforce Portugal – was born in 2005.

In 2006, Groundforce Portugal growth process was continued with equipment and processes modernization, by keeping its focus on human resources and with the completion of projects related to the improvement of labour conditions.

In March 2008, a Consortium with three banks (BIG, Banif and Invest) purchased Globália, in the scope of a strategy of Customer Service Improvement and satisfaction of all Stakeholders.

In 2012, the Competition Authority approved the signing of the agreement of principle entered into between TAP and PASOGAL with the purchase of 50.1%, giving rise to a company transformation process focused on sustainability in the perspective of its main shareholders, employees, clients and suppliers. This transformation aimed at creating all required growth and development conditions, in order to keep Groundforce as a leader company in Portugal in the field of passenger, Baggage and cargo airport handling.

On the pursuit for Excellence based on a consistent structure of key processes, Groundforce aims at being a modern, future company, by contributing for sustainable growth on a daily basis.


For Groundforce Portugal, Quality means

Providing services at the right time, in the right place, for fully satisfying clients' needs and expectations;

Permanently improving service quality and Client satisfaction by maximizing process efficiency;

Complying with all quality standards agreed with the clients. Our standards are permanently monitored with the goal of providing information for system review and Quality targets.



Safety is always first!

Safety is a process that aims at promoting a fair, positive security culture, therefore ensuring that all players are aware that, at their levels and in their daily activities, they are the key for the good development and security practices, that way contributing to process improvement and effectiveness.

Groundforce Portugal relies on a well-established risk control system – “Safety Management System”, based on the following documents:

  • - Risk Assessment Manual
  • - Personal Protective Equipment Manual
  • - Safety and Emergency Response Manual
  • - Safety, Health and Environment Manual

By communicating and disseminating Safety practices, we ensure procedure application and a conduct level, aiming at contributing and promoting the permanent improvement of all activities.

All procedures are coordinated daily with the airlines and airport entities in order to ensure that all safety procedures are complied with to guarantee aircraft secure operation.

Groundforce Portugal is committed to providing the highest safety standards to passengers, employees and suppliers of all airports and facilities in which it operates, by promoting a culture where people are informed, clarified and are aware of the dangers and risks inherent to their actuation areas, and encouraging them to identify threats to their own security, and to participate in finding solutions.

Effective safety procedures are permanently assessed in order to improve all processes capable of providing the best safety services.

Code of Conduct and Ethics

The Code of Conduct and Ethics reflects the will of pursuing continuous improvement of a Company that, in the structuring principles of its operation, undertakes to respect its workers’ rights, defend and preserve the environment, keep transparent relations with the exterior and contribute to the satisfaction of all Stakeholders – Shareholders, Workers, Clintes, Suppliers and Community.




Our clients and other independent entities have granted us with the following awards:

Awards 2018

"Transportes e Negócios" Magazine - Cargo Awards 2018

Groundforce Portugal - Best Handling Agent

Delta Airlines 2018

Lisbon - Station of the Year  

British Airways, 2018

Funchal - Best Performance ARTG - Punctuality for Portugal, Mediterranean Region and South America

British Airways, 2018

Funchal - Best Customer Service for Portugal, Mediterranean Region and South America

Tui Group, 2018

Porto Santo - Recognition Award - Excellent Customer Service

Tui Group, 2018

Porto Santo - Recognition Award - Excellent Ontime Performance

Awards ... - 2017

HR Portugal / Executive Digest / INDEG-ISCTE, 2016

“Excellence List 2016" - Large Companies  (> 1000 employees)


Funchal - “Most Punctual Station of the Month / October 2016

Air Nostrum 2016

Porto - “Station of the Year 2016”, 5th time in a row

Air Nostrum, 2015

Porto - “Station of the Year 2016”, 4th time in a row

"Transportes e Negócios" Magazine - Cargo Awards 2015

Groundforce Portugal - Best Handling Agent

Thomson Airways, 2015

Porto Santo - Excellence Award / Customer Service

Air Nostrum, 2014

Porto - “Station of the Year 2014”, 3rd time in a row

Ground Handling International, 2014

Ramp Safety Award, Europe

Exame Magazine, 2015

3rd Best Large Company to Work (>1000 workers)