Unit Load Device (ULD) | Introduction About Certification and Identification - Aviation Professional

Unit Load Device (ULD) | Introduction About Certification and Identification


Unit Load Device (ULD) , aircraft pallet, aircraft container


Airlines use Unit Load Device (ULD) to transport passenger's baggage, cargo, and mail on aircraft [ wide-body aircraft and specific narrow-body aircraft]. Transporting baggage, cargo, and mail by air is not that easy process, it needs time, enough ground handling crew and many parties may handle these loads.


Unit Load Device (ULD) offer airlines with the easiest, safest, and fastest transport process to move passenger's baggage, cargo, and mail to around the world.


 *Freight Consolidator send shipments combined together via shipping consolidation, however, he offer cheap freight rates because airline give him a unit load devices (ULD) freight rate which is cheapest rate.


Do you know why?

Because Unit Load Device (ULD) allows airlines to bundled a large quantity of baggage, cargo, and mail to many single units. Doing this leads to rapid loading / unloading of the aircraft, good loads handling and installation compatible with the aircraft loading system.


In addition, each single Unit Load Device (ULD) has its own packing list so that it is easy for airlines to track any lost items.

What is A Unit Load Device (ULD)

You may have heard the term Unit Load Device (ULD), this term refers to any type of aircraft cargo container or aircraft cargo pallet [ pallet net combination] which by its nature fits directly with the loading system in the aircraft without the need for additional restraint tool and it became as an integral part of the aircraft.


The purpose of using the cargo containers is to group the cargo parts into a standard large unit to facilitate rapid loading / unloading of the aircraft, good cargo handling and installation compatible with the aircraft loading system.

 

Are you happy with this clear definition?

Nice,

 

Is Unit Load Device (ULD) Required Certification?

Unit Load Devices (ULDs) are removable aircraft parts. It has to be robust enough to cope with extreme circumstances during flight [ it must be capable of restraint the loads and providing adequate protection to the aircraft floor load systems and aircraft structure during flight].


In most cases, Unit Load Devices (ULDs) required to be approved "certified" for use by the relevant Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for the country where the manufacturer is located. It must meet the CAA requirements from design, testing, production, operation and repairs.


While certification is important, non-certified Unit Load Device (ULD) may be used by airlines if it deemed to be capable of withstanding the forces from the contents during extreme flight condition [ such as hits air pockets or turbulence].


e.g. FAA use technical standards order (TSO) for certification of Unit Load Devices (ULDs)

 

Is it complicated to you recognizing both certified and non-certified Unit Load Device (ULD)?

Do not worry, you can recognize both by Unit Load Device (ULD) identification code. Of course, you can do that, the key is with the first letter of the ULD Identification code.

Just continue reading ...

 

How can you identify a Unit Load Device (ULD)?

Each aircraft cargo container or aircraft cargo pallet is identified by its ULD code. This code is a unique combination of letters and numbers, starting with a three-letter prefix that identifies they type of ULD. This prefix is followed by a unique serial number to distinguish it from others of the same type. While the three last two or three characters are designating the owner of the ULD.


 (e.g., aircraft container owned by specific Yemen Airways).


First, I will start explaining the three-letter prefix code

1- 1st Letter: ULD Category

2- 2nd Letter: ULD Base


3- 3rd Letter: ULD Contour or Compatibility for each aircraft type.


Then , a unique serial number



Finally , three last two or three characters are designating the owner of the ULD - Yemen Airways
 


The [AKE] ULD code is part of IATA ULDR identification system [ more e.g. AAP, AMA,PMC,PAG,RKN etc. ] which is preferable.

 

There are many other identification codes such as [ LD2, LD3, LD9 etc. for ATA identification system ].


Note :

LD= lower deck.

 

Conclusion

Unit Load Devices (ULD), this term refers to any type of aircraft container or aircraft pallet which by its nature fits directly with the loading system in the aircraft without the need for additional restraint tool.


Unit Load Devices (ULDs) may require to be approved "certified" for use by the relevant Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for the country where the manufacturer is located. It must meet the CAA requirements from design, testing, production, operation and repairs.


Each aircraft container or aircraft pallet is identified by its ULD code. This code is a unique combination of letters and numbers, starting with a three-letter prefix that identifies they type of ULD. And followed by a unique serial number to distinguish it from others of the same type. While the three last two or three characters are designating the owner of the ULD.


 

Unit Load Devices (ULD) allows airlines to bundled a large quantity of baggage, cargo, and mail to many single units. Doing this leads to rapid loading / unloading of the aircraft, good loads handling and installation compatible with the aircraft loading system.

 

 

 

This article is an introductory to understand unit load devices (ULD) identification system. in the future we will publish other articles related to the specifications of each ULD. Also, the proper method of ULD build-up and loading on aircraft will be covered in other articles.

 

I will be happy, if you answer this question and write your answer in the comments section below this article.

The question is:

What is A PMC pallet?

 

Or you can just share this article to let someone answer this question.

 

 

 

For further reading:

-  IATA ULD Regulations

                          



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4 Comments

  1. Thank you ENG.Hani Al-Kubati for your feedback.

    ReplyDelete
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