First edition of the ULD Regulations now published
The first edition of the IATA ULD Regulations (ULDR) effective January 2013 is replacing the former IATA ULD Technical Manual. It contains technical and operational standard specifications, regulatory requirements as well as carrier’s requirements applicable to overall ULD operations.
The emergence of the IATA ULDR resulted from extensive consultation and collaboration from all segments of the air cargo industry.
The air transport industry depends on ULDs
ULDs represent a significant investment by the airlines and are subject to civil aviation authorities' airworthiness requirements. In addition, maintaining the airworthiness of ULDs contributes directly to flight safety.
In a typical operational chain, ULDs are handled by third party ground service providers, cargo terminal operators, truckers and freight forwarders. Nowadays, ULD operations are conducted almost entirely outside the airline’s direct control and supervision. Circa 700’000 ULDs in operation today (representing a current replacement value of close to US$ 1 billion) are often taken for granted and handled without discipline or appropriate controls.
Regulatory compliance is under airlines’ responsibility
Despite this, ULD remains a piece of aircraft equipment, subject to the same airworthiness requirements having to comply as any other component of the aircraft. It is the airline which is required to ensure that only airworthy ULDs are loaded onto an aircraft, and that is responsible in case of non-compliance.
It is very challenging for each individual airline to ensure the proper ULD handling instructions are made available to and implemented by all the operating staff across the ULD operational chain.
The IATA ULDR addresses this complexity and serves as a bridge to help airlines and all parties across the ULD operational chain to work towards a common objective of ensuring regulatory compliance across the ULD operational chain.