The US National Transportation Safety Board has issued two recommendations to PHMSA on cargo segregation and loading density requirements for air cargo operations. The recommendations stem from NTSB’s part in the investigation of the in-flight fire aboard Asiana Airlines Flight 991 and its crash into the sea west of Jeju International Airport, South Korea in July 2011.
NTSB is asking PHMSA to put in place rules to ensure the physical separation of lithium batteries from other flammable hazardous materials stowed on cargo aircraft and to establish maximum loading density requirements that restrict the quantities of lithium batteries and flammable hazardous materials.
“NTSB urges PHMSA to take action on these safety recommendations to reduce the likelihood and severity of potential cargo fires and to provide additional time for the crew to safely land a cargo aircraft in the event a fire is detected,” says Christopher A Hart, NTSB chairman.
NTSB is aware that PHMSA will not generally put in place rules that are more restrictive than international regulations; however, Congress has given PHMSA authority to do so if it finds credible evidence of a deficiency in the international regulations that has substantially contributed to the start or spread of an on-board fire. The NTSB strongly believes the circumstances and findings in the Asiana Flight 991 accident show the need for new cargo segregation and loading density requirements.
The NTSB report and recommendations can be found on the Board’s website.[post_title] => NTSB wants PHMSA to act on batteries and flammables [post_excerpt] =>
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