Welcome to the first ULD CARE newsletter for 2015. We trust everyone has recovered from the peak season- it was good to have one at last- and that things are now on a more even keel.
It seems ULD CARE has a very busy and interesting year ahead and to provide our readers and members with some insight as to what’s going on, here are just some highlights:
1. ULD CARE has commissioned the production of a short (8-9 min) video that is designed to deliver a strong message to management of both airlines and companies that are involved with ULD activity. The message will convey that ULD are aircraft parts and require responsible and safe handling. This video will make its debut at the IATA World Cargo Symposium in March 2015 and will definitely be featured at the next ULD CARE Annual Conference in Bangkok next September.
2. We are advised by the FAA that the revised version of AC 120-85 Cargo Operations will be issued in Feb 2015. While the final details are not yet public we expect this new version to include an increased focus on ULD operations and on the expected performance of ground and cargo service providers. Watch this space for more information as it becomes available.
3. ULD CARE is also working on various other projects originating from the Mainz meeting last year:
a. A series of ULD focused audit check forms will be available in the next couple months for anyone wishing to audit any particular ULD operation. Based on the requirements of the ULD Regulations, these audit check forms will provide a tool to assist ULD owners in properly assessing the standard of their various ULD operations.
b. A theme for poster material to support proper handling of ULD is currently under development. Members will be invited to comment before the implementation phase. Our ambition here is to create posters that will provide common awareness throughout the industry.
c. Enhanced ULD content in the SGHA (Standard Ground Handling Agreement). This is part of an IATA review and is for discussion at a meeting to be held in early February. While ULD CARE cannot have a direct input, we have made our wishes known to the relevant parties and await a positive outcome.
4. The updated UCR project which was established at the Vancouver meeting has been completed. The new version is published in Section 8 of ULDR 3rd edition, just recently released. Work will now commence on the e-UCR, an electronic message format.
5. And last but certainly not least, the 3rd Edition of the IATA ULD Regulations is now published and contains new material which we will cover in detail at a later date.
2015 is certainly starting with momentum and we aim to keep it up during the year. We are looking to have plenty of opportunities to use the video at various industry events in order to establish the wider recognition of ULD and ULD CARE, a goal we set to achieve at the Mainz meeting. With only six months to go before our next conference in Bangkok, time is ticking but we believe we can achieve most of our ambitions by then.
Now for this month’s featured articles:
Cargo nets are aircraft parts too!
Cargo nets are one of the most widely abused and most misunderstood components of the air cargo industry. Despite their almost universal usage in both lower deck and main deck cargo applications, even the most cursory ramp inspection will almost always turn up nets that are not in a condition to be used, or not fitted properly or in many cases all of the above.
Managing 16 and 20 ft pallets
Virtually any airline operating freighter aircraft will at some time or other use 16 and 20 feet pallets. Indeed these pieces of equipment are essential components of modern cargo operations, playing the role of moving a huge variety of large and/or heavy and/or unusually shaped/oversized cargo. While pure passenger airlines will have no involvement with this equipment, any cargo operator, many ground handlers and most cargo terminals will find themselves using and even relying on these particular types of ULD for their operations. While similar in some respects to any other type of ULD the size and load capacity of these two pallet sizes does give rise to a certain degree of special operational and handling procedures.
The sight of a dolly train of ULDs moving around an airport or a truck loaded with ULDs moving down the road is common enough occurrence to anyone involved in the air cargo industry. But there is more to this activity than meets the eye. Indeed without proper care and attention, the equipment and practices used to move ULD from place to place can have a significant impact on the condition of the ULD.