The United Arab Emirates' General Civil Aviation Authority has made a number of recommendations
stemming from the cargo fire that lead to the Sept. 3, 2010 crash of a UPS Boeing 747-400 freighter in Dubai in its recently released report on the incident.
The goal is to install as many safety measures as possible to prevent fire-related accidents in cargo planes and save lives when onboard fires occur.
Recommendations include installing thermal-radiation methods to detect the early development of fire, developing standards for fire-supression containers in the aircraft, and implementing new certification for ULDs (unit load devices) holding flammable goods. The authority also asked the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to address the use of fire-containment covers for palletized cargo and consider a rule change to require full-face oxygen masks for pilots.
The Independent Pilots Association (IPA), the union covering UPS pilots, has been working with UPS to develop a fire-supression system that can contain cargo-hold fires for up to four hours. The union has demonstrated the device for both the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board and are pressing for its implementation.
"Nearly three years following this tragic accident, UPS pilots welcome the release of this final report," IPA's Robert Travis said in a statement. "Some of the GCAA's recommendations are already being addressed by a joint company and pilot union group, the IPA/UPS Safety Task Force, created shortly after the accident."
UPS and IPA have also worked toward other safety measures, such as the emergency vision assurance system and oxygen mask use by all UPS pilots, that are now entering UPS' common practices. - Jon Ross