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IATA Launches ULD Safety Awareness Campaign

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today announced the launch of a safety campaign to reduce the number of ground handling incidents involving Unit Load Devices (ULDs).

The campaign seeks to minimize flight safety risk and reduce the number of incidents of aircraft and container damage from mishandling. IATA’s target is to save the cargo industry around $264 million annually through promoting better ULD handling.

Glyn Hu

Glyn Hughes, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo

Announcing the launch of the program at the 10th World Cargo Symposium in Berlin, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo Glyn Hughes commented, “The number one cause of aircraft damage from ground loading equipment is from mishandled ULDs. In addition to the high costs involved in repairing damage to aircraft, maintenance to ULDs also incurs significant costs. Last year the industry’s ULD repair bill was $330 million however it is estimated that 80% of these costs could be saved through correct handling.”

Due to the fact that ULDs are the only aircraft part that leaves the control of the airline, and having been passed through many hands, the ULD handling process is open to vulnerability.  To ensure flight safety, correct onboard loading is critical to making sure the load is balanced and safe.

The campaign will be rolled out across the industry throughout 2016 in parallel with the ULD Regulations (ULDR), a single set of regulatory requirements and industry standards applicable to overall ULD operations developed by IATA.

“Correct handling of ULDs is not only essential for safety on the ramp and in the air, it is all about pursuing greater service quality for air cargo’s customers. Working across the industry to raise awareness and change behavior, this campaign is a part of our broader industry transformation agenda of improving the value proposition of air cargo,” said Mr. Hughes.

For a more in-depth look on the topic of ULD regulations, check out the video below: