At a time when the NTSB is calling for increased fire suppression on all cargo aircraft, it is most commendable that UPS is reported as having initiated (prior to the Board’s press release) a very thorough study of cargo hold fires. Industry initiatives, which get in front of difficult regulatory issues, are a great approach to defining practical solutions.
The preliminary findings suggest that fires can be suppressed at the container level. Analyses of the engineering, chemistry and physics of the structures that carry the shipments on board indicate that improved materials and aerosol canisters may be the best method to deal with fires that emanate from the individual packages/boxes/parcels. UPS stated that the company is also researching improved sensors and other technical detection systems.
FedEx is also quoted as taking a different approach to suppress fires on board its aircraft. Any such addition to the aircraft or the LD 3 containers requires a supplemental type certificate. For companies who may be developing other new solutions to this issue, the FAA rules on the introduction of such equipment are complex and demanding. The JDA team of professionals can help with anyone seeking such airworthiness approval.Share this article: