An aircraft Unit Load Device (ULD) is either an aircraft container or a combination of an aircraft pallet and an aircraft pallet net for grouping and restraining cargo, mail and baggage for air transport. Since the 1950s, they’ve been used to safely transport goods by air. However, year after year, ULDs are often a leading cause of aircraft damage on the ground and also costs the industry about USD 400 million annually for the repair and loss.
To help reduce ULD related safety incidents as well as damage and loss, IATA has developed the ULDR. The ULDR is a comprehensive reference manual containing all the regulatory and airline requirements, technical and operating specifications as well as industry agreed standards and procedures applicable to all parties involved in the manufacturing, repair and maintenance, handling and operations of ULDs.
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2023 ULD Regulations (ULDR)
2023 ULD Regulations (ULDR)
What’s inside the ULDR?
- Applicability (aircraft ULD definition, regulatory framework, scope and applicability, responsibilities of airlines and other parties, training requirements)
- Limitations (aircraft operating limitations applicable to ULD, aircraft contour drawings with dimensions of all the major aircraft types, requirements for pallet and net compatibility, requirements for continuing airworthiness and ULD serviceability check, requirements for ULD repairs)
- Classification (cargo compartment classification, certified ULD and TSO-C90 approval, bilateral agreements on approval acceptance, non-certified containers, ULD accessories)
- ULD Identification (IATA ULD ID Code, currently registered ULD Type Codes, diagrams, related characteristics including aircraft acceptability, airline and non-airline owner codes, pallet/net compatibility chart)
- Technical and Operating Specifications for aircraft pallet, net, container, Fire Resistant Container, Temperature Controlled Container and other special purpose ULDs, Fire Containment Cover, cargo restrain strap and other ULD accessories
- Marking (marking of ULD ID Code, TSO marking requirements, requirements for bar-coded ULD ID Code and ULD RFID tag, Operational Damage Limits Notice (ODLN))
- Documentation and messaging (ULD Stock Control, ULD Control Receipt for ULD transfer, ULD ownership documentation, ULD repair station documentation, operating instructions in CMM)
- Handling (maintaining continuing airworthiness, handling requirements for ULD storage, transport and movement, transfer, build-up and break-down, and special purpose ULDs)
- Appendixes (application for ULD Contour Code and registration of ULD Type Code, IATA ULD Management Scorecard, IATA ULD Training Program Assessment Checklist, illustration of ULD components on ODLN)
Still not sure if the ULDR is for you? Download the full table of contents.
Significant changes to the latest edition:
Throughout the ULDR all references to ‘Carrier’ and ‘Airline’ have been changed to ‘Operator’ to align with ICAO and all version letters of SAE standards in general references have been deleted.
Other changes include:
- Section 2: Addition of Airbus A350 cargo hold cross-section drawing as well as the information on its acceptable pallet sizes
- Section 4, SS 40/1 Attachment ‘A’: Addition of Airbus A350 to the relevant aircraft acceptability information
- Section 6, OS 6/02: Clarification of the requirements for net attachment point locations
- Section 7 SS 40/3: Clarification of ODLN for certified aircraft ULD and improvement on ODLN standard formats
- Section 10: Complete deletion of current contents as standards for ‘Non-Aircraft Modular Load Units’ as they are not only outside the scope of ULDR but also no longer in use or supported in the industry
- Appendix H: Improvements to the illustration of ULD components and sub-components