FAA issues guidance for cargo in passenger cabin
Airlines can use approved storage areas as long as they adhere to regulations for safe carriage of cargo
Eric Kulisch, Air Cargo Editor Thursday, April 16, 2020
(Updated April 21, 4:00 P.M. ET, clarifying where cargo can be stored)
The Federal Aviation Administration is giving airlines the greenlight to carry cargo in the passenger cabin to maximize efficiency and relaxing takeoff and landing quotas at congested airports.
The agency on Thursday issued guidelines for commercial carriers to follow if they transport cargo in stowage bins, passenger seats or on the floor, with the seats removed. The safety alert essentially tells carriers they can carry shipments up top as long as they adhere to all regulatory requirements for the safe carriage of cargo.
Passenger cabins are not designed for all-cargo configurations, but the rules allow goods to be carried under the seats, in stowage bins or storage closets if all normal requirements for the safe carriage of cargo are followed. Putting boxes in the seats or removing the seats requires special permission.
The safety alert instructs operators how to assess the risk for carrying goods in the passenger space, including weight and balance, fire detection and suppression and hazardous materials considerations. Carriers have to verify the contents to make sure no dangerous goods are carried in the upper deck.
The FAA recommends that…