The International Air Transport Association (IATA) launched a Unit Load Device (ULD) Safety Campaign today – aimed at improving handling standards of units and reducing costs.
The initiative was launched at IATA’s World Cargo Symposium in Berlin, which runs from 15-17 March.
IATA’s target is to save the cargo industry around $264 million annually through promoting better ULD handling. IATA says last year repair costs for ULDs set the the industry back more than $330 million.
IATA’s global head of cargo, Glyn Hughes explains: “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.”
Along with ULDs being the number one contributor to aircraft damaged on the ground, they have also been the reason for two fatal aircraft accidents in 1997 and 2013.
In urging operators to support the campaign, IATA’s manager of processes and standards, Liao Zhi Yong says that ULDs never damage aircraft, but it is the people that handle it.
He says the five key messages are that ULDs are critical to flight safety; correct ULD handling ensures safety; safety is everybody’s responsibility; correct ULD handling reduces costs and improves efficiency; and the IATA ULD regulations facilitates industry to compliance.
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.