IATA updates cargo and ground handling manuals

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released its 2024 cargo and ground handling manuals, which contain more than 300 changes.

Stock image, picture credit: Menzies Aviation

The updates reflect commitments to further improve safety, make operations more sustainable, enhance the passenger experience and improve cargo handling.

Changes have been made for transporting mobility devices, live animals, perishables, cargo handling risk assessments and standardised training in ground handling.

The guidance on mobility devices focuses on units powered by lithium or other batteries with updated guidance on the carriage of dangerous goods by passengers and crew.

The amendments are reflected in the latest editions of the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) and Lithium Battery Shipping Regulations (LBSR).

The 50th edition of the Live Animal Regulations (LAR) provides more clarity between the requirements for animals transported in cargo compartments under IATA Live Animal Acceptance Checklist and those travelling in the passenger cabin under IATA’s In-Cabin Live Animal Acceptance Checklist.

The Perishable Cargo Regulations (PCR) and Temperature Control Regulations (TCR) have been revised with perishables being given the new definition of consumable and non-consumable goods with limited shelf life, susceptible to loss and spoilage if not preserved under appropriate conditions, thereby losing their inherent properties or essential quality components and no longer able to be used as originally intended.

Further information on training and clarification on how temperature ranges can be placed on labels have been added.

The IATA Cargo Handling Manual now includes guidance on developing an Operational Risk Assessment (ORA), which must now be carried out on all items carried in cargo compartments following an amendment to ICAO Annex 6.

The manual includes guidance on developing an ORA and the assessment needs to include the likelihood of an incident, its severity and appropriate risk management strategies to mitigate the risk as far as practically possible.

Global standards for safe and efficient ground operations and standardised training are an area of development to improve safety and reduce training time and costs.

The IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) is increasingly popular with more than 330 stations accredited at over 200 airports.

The revised Airport Handling Manual (AHM) contains guidelines for management and safety, establishing an industry framework and ISAGO standards for organisation management and control.

IATA says ISAGO will require compliance with the AHM and IATA Ground Operations Manual (IGOM) for successful accreditation.

IATA has also published trend reports in the areas of dangerous goods, special cargo, cargo operations and ground operations to provide an overview of developments and key industry trends.

Frederic Leger, Senior Vice President Commercial Products and Services at IATA, said: “Taking into consideration the various trends – especially sustainability and digitalisation – more than 300 changes are reflected in the 2024 IATA manuals, a testament to the fact that this work is essential to maintain a reliable and safe aviation ecosystem for both customers and employees.”

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