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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 19 No. 37
Monday May 4,, 2020
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KLM B747Combi

     The carriage of cargo in passenger compartments has opened up thoughts of permanent change moving forward.
     It is no secret that cargo in passenger compartments, as an every day event brings into play a great deal of ingenuity to support the safe and efficient operation of this practice.
The question is raised whether the industry will see a return to combi aircraft, not an unreasonable proposition, given the urgent need to put grounded passenger aircraft to use.
     Creating combi models of today's mainstream aircraft such as B777, B787 and A350 XWB would clearly take enormous amount of time and money, and also be non- reversible.
     But Bob Rogers,Vice President and Treasurer ULD Care has been kicking the cans around for years and right now thinks that there are actually a couple of “combi lite” options that could be well worth considering.
     “Providing a low cost, safe, main deck solution that would avoid complex and expensive aircraft modifications, while enabling the use of container type loading to reduce manpower and turnaround times, could be just around the corner,” Bob enthuses.

Bob Rogers

Removeable Main Deck Systems

     “Back in the 1970’s/ 80’s,” Bob declared, “a number of B747 /DC10 operators utilized a system whereby a lightweight non-powered cargo loading/restraint system could be laid onto the floor of the rearmost compartment of the aircraft and secured to the seat tracks,” Bob told FT from his base in Hong Kong.
     “The system was removable (maybe half a day to remove or install) and enabled the use of special cargo containers that typically had dimension of 38 ins wide (to fit through the pax door ) by 64” high by either 61.5 or 125” long.
     “Best of all the change over to cargo required no significant modification to the airframe,” Bob assured.
     “We recall that a number of airlines used these systems, Alitalia and Philippine Airlines, Lufthansa and Aer Lingus are four (also KL used this system on DC 10s).
     “The systems were manufactured by Transequip (now owned by Telair) and Brooks and Perkins,” Bob recalled.

Fast Forward To Today

     “Although,” Bob declared, “these systems were designed for older model aircraft, today in an adaptive reuse scheme to start with the principles, we imagine will be the same.
     “In the earlier combi operations described here, containers had a max gross weight of about 800 lbs, presumably to be capable of handling a 9G load as there was no 9G barrier net, and had to be loaded with doors facing aft.
     “The containers were loaded using either a main deck loader or a modified catering truck and the cargo loading system provided a ball mat right up the door sill, so the containers could be easily moved into position.
     “Under the passenger-combi scheme of yesteryear there was some kind of aisle allowing passenger access to the rear toilets and lightweight removeable vertical panels to close off the cargo holding area,” Bob Rogers said.

A Proven Track Record

     “This is a proven concept, used by a number of airlines years ago but long since forgotten. But here we are in 2020 in a brave new world thinking it would seem very feasible to dust off this concept, adapt it to today’s aircraft and put it into service within a realistic time and cost.”

Airborne Express Adaptive System

     “An alternative to the conventional cargo loading system used for placing ULD into aircraft was utilized by Airborne Express some years ago, initially on narrow bodied aircraft and then finally on B767F
     “That system dispensed with a wide cargo door and instead used narrow ULD that could pass through the standard passenger door.
     “In this system the ULDs were fitted with casters (somewhat similar to a galley cart) and the aircraft floor was equipped with a series of tracks and locks into which the ULD were rolled and then locked in place.
      “While this concept was applied by Airborne Express to full freighters there would be no technical reason why it could not be applied to a particular zone of a passenger aircraft.”

What Goes Around Comes Around

     “Both these methods, long since consigned to history, could actually be very applicable in today’s situation, avoiding the expense and time involved to create a true combi, while enabling the efficiency of unitized cargo loading and handling,” Bob Rogers concluded.

Main Deck Cargo Webinar Tuesday May 5

     IATA Cargo is conducting a webinar on May 5th (10:00 EST,16:00 CEST) that will focus on transport of cargo on aircraft configured for the carriage of passengers.
More click here.

chuckles for May 4, 2020

IATA Cargo Weekly Webinar

     On Tuesday April 28th, IATA held a worldwide conference call with over 500 people to provide an update on air cargo in the COVID-19 world.
     This was the first time that IATA had used a forum such as this and advised that they will be holding more webinars soon.
     In fact, the next webinar will be held on May 5th and will be focused on Transport of cargo on aircraft configured for the carriage of passengers. More information here.

Worldwide Attention To Air Cargo

     IATA’s Glyn Hughes and several of his team members provided insight into the many things that have been going on within the industry.
     Glyn talked about how airlines are developing capacity and have begun use of passenger aircraft to cargo flight application and how IATA has been providing guidance to its members on ground operations, loading and additional ways to watch for the carriage of dangerous goods and special handling cargo.
Gordon Wright, Andrea Gruber and David Brennan     IATA’s DG expert, David Brennan provided how IATA is working with international organizations like ICAO and regulators on ensuring that handling of dangerous goods is important as ever and the special requirements for cargo when it comes to being placed in the passenger cabin.
     Andrea Gruber provided overview of the importance in special handling of life saving goods that are needed during this special time.
     Takeaway here is that it is imperative as ever that pharma shipments be able to move but in a way that follows the important guidelines set under the IATA CEIV-Pharma certification.
     Regulatory issues that airlines face in the daily changes of government regulatory issues were addressed by Gordon Wright, IATA’s Head of Cargo Border Management.
Airlines and shippers have faced regulatory issues across the world and IATA teams have helped to reduce the red tape so air cargo can move smoothly.
     Issues on regulatory training requirements, how to use electronic documents and aircraft landing rights are all on the plate daily and IATA continues to work through those issues for its members and the air cargo community.

Glyn Hughes

     Glyn Hughes, IATA Global Head of Cargo for nearly the past six years has stabilized that position by being likeable, knowledgeable and someone you can talk to on a wide variety of subjects and come away impressed.
     That is no small feat as IATA Cargo, with a big diverse and at times divided membership, has gone through several years of change at the top.
     But along came Glyn, who had served in other positions at IATA for years, ready, willing and able to hit the mark and move air cargo into the 21st century.
     You may not always agree with what IATA might do or declare, but you never have to doubt that Glyn cares about our business, takes the long view, and listens.
     Here in a brief break from the current whirlwind of the global pandemic from hell, Glyn shares some thoughts from home in Lausanne, Switzerland.

FT:   What is your thought as air cargo around the world has taken grasp of the situation?
GH:   In the words of Sir Winston Churchill, “never was so much owed by so many to so few.” All over the world, front line medical workers put their personal health on the line every day they turn up to a hospital or clinic to treat the sick and infected and the way the air cargo industry has rallied to support those health workers deserves equal merit. Whilst most of us have been confined to the safety of the home working environment these past 6 weeks or so, freight forwarders, truckers, ground handlers, customs officers, together with airline flight and dispatch crews have been on the front line transporting much needed medical equipment, supplies and medicines wherever in the world they are needed. They are all heroes. They represent the best of this industry, coming together to put the needs of others above their own.

FT:    What have you seen, read, or were impressed by in this time?
GH:   The men and women of this industry stand out for their impressive dedication and commitment to the vital role played by them and this industry. But I should also say that the innovative way the airlines have mobilized their grounded passenger fleets for cargo only operations has also been very impressive. Employing new safety risk assessments, operational processes and in some cases installing new global networks in such a short time frame has been remarkable.

FT:    What do you think (hope) air cargo will look like in September 2020?
GH:   I think we have a roller coaster ahead of us for a while. Sadly we can anticipate the need for medical supplies to be present for the next few months as Covid-19 continues to impact various communities around the globe. As the social isolation and lockdown policies will remain in place for a while, we can also expect ecommerce transactions to continue as they have these past months providing a unique connection for people to purchase much needed items during this difficult period. We can also expect that once society returns to a more integrated situation and factories slowly reopen, air cargo will be vital for restocking and supporting production lines, moving components and finished goods.
Unfortunately we can also anticipate that at some point this year the economic contraction will result in slowed activity and workers who have had employment impacted will focus on replenishing savings drawn upon during the lockdown.
This may have a detrimental effect on consumer behavior later in the year.

FlyingTalkers podcastTune in to

Will Pandemic Bring Back Combi Aircraft
IATA Glyn Look Ahead

Cinco de MayoFeliz Cinco de Mayo
  A man dressed as a female Mexican rebel takes part in a recreation of the Battle of Puebla during "Cinco de Mayo" observance in Mexico City.
  Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant serves the best margaritas, and is open at this time for to-go orders and Margarita Pitchers are available with food orders only.
  Open since 1965, this place on the outskirts of San Francisco uses pure agave tequila, hand-squeezed lime juice, and no triple sec.
  Tommy’s prefers agave nectar, a honey-like sweetener from the same plant as tequila.

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