Cargo Safety Controls

A risk control provides a mean to reduce or eliminate the effects of a hazard. The implementation of specific controls is based on an operator's analysis and acceptance of risk. It should be included in a Cargo Risk Assessment prior to implementation, to tailor their use and monitor their effectiveness. Ultimately, the operator is responsible for accepting risks introduced into their systems, and for implementing appropriate risk controls.

  • Fire Prevention and Containment
  • Cargo Loading

Fire Prevention and Containment

Fire Safety is a key area that may benefit from the implementation of risk controls. The FAA has created a Cargo Fire Safety website to discuss existing fire containment risk controls.

In November 2012, following three fire-related cargo aircraft accidents, the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued several recommendations that involve improving the detection of fires originating within containers and pallets, improving the fire resistance of cargo containers; and requiring active fire suppression systems in all cargo compartments or containers, or both.

In response to these recommendations, the air cargo industry and regulatory agencies collaborated with consensus standards organizations to develop standards for fire containment at the package and cargo container level. Research and industry innovation supports this evolving work.

Fire Safety Controls might include:

  • Product level mitigation (example: reduce battery state of charge)
  • Use of packaging with specific performance or fire suppression characteristics
  • Limiting quantity of hazardous materials at the package and aircraft level
  • Establish weight or energy thresholds for hazardous materials at the package and aircraft level
  • Control of transport conditions: segregation, temperature control, etc.
  • Control of transport equipment characteristics: thermal insulations, installation of dividers between consignments, etc.
  • Control of passenger baggage to ensure items restricted to the passenger cabin are not stowed in the aircraft cargo compartment

Please review the following tabs for information about specific fire safety risk controls.

Cargo Loading Controls

Most cargo loading incidents are preventable by adhering to existing regulations and company policies. As with many industries, human error poses a threat to safe operations. Controls could include:

  • Emphasis on preparation and accuracy of the flight load manifest
  • Emphasis on the training of cargo loading to preclude human errors
  • Employ lessons learned from incidents and accidents
Last updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2022