CA BIN C ARGO
Palletise the cabin IATA
046 JUNE 2020
Interiors parts supplier, Colibri Aero, has collaborated with
design and production organisation, J&C Aero, to develop
universal Cargo Seat Bags for Airbus A319/A320/A321
passenger cabins. The newly developed interior modification kit
has already been approved by EASA and has received an STC.
The Cargo Seat Bag kit measures 76x76x147cm (30x30x58in)
for a triple seat, with up to 75kg (165 lbs) of cargo stored on the seat
and an additional 9kg (20 lbs) under the seat, for a total of 252kg (555
lbs) per triple seat. According to Colibri Aero, the kit can be easily installed
within minutes and can accommodate a wide range of cargo types, from postal
correspondence, household goods, electronics and other commercial cargo, to medical
equipment and humanitarian supplies.
“We started the development of the modification back in 2019, with numerous testing
and continuous consultations with aviation authorities and airlines along the way. In
February 2020, amidst the growing concerns over Covid-19, we decided to put additional
resources into the project in order to have a certified modification as soon as possible,”
states Laurynas Skukauskas, CCO at J&C Aero
Airbus is developing a modification for the A330 and A350 aircraft families, which will
enable airlines to remove economy-class seats and install freight pallets directly onto
the cabin floor seat tracks.
Compared with loading cargo onto seats, this solution facilitates easier and quicker
loading and unloading operations, as well as reduced wear and tear to seats. Other
benefits include robust fire protection, and 9g load restraint capability.
The modification is packaged for operators as an Airbus Service Bulletin (SB),
whereby Airbus defines the engineering workscope and manages the process for
obtaining the one-time certification from EASA. The scope of the modification
includes the removal of the seats and IFE, installation of cargo pallets and associated
safety equipment – and also the re-installation of the original passenger cabin
elements for reverting back to passenger operations.
“The rapid transformation of
some of our aircraft to meet
cargo demand reflects our
ability to maximise our fleet
assets quickly when these
aircraft would otherwise
Richard Steer, SVP of operations,
Air Canada, on the cabin conversion
of its B777-300ERs
In February 2020, Boeing’s Commercial Market
Outlook stated that 2,820 freighters will enter
the global fleet to meet market demand,
including 1,220 standard-body passengerto
freighter conversions. Responding to this
market demand, Boeing plans to add a
B737-800BCF production line at Guangzhou
Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company
(GAMECO) this summer.
IATA has set out recommendations for the
safe introduction of cabin cargo capacity.
“Any reconfiguration of an aircraft in this
manner requires full evaluation of cargo
restraints connected directly to the seat
tracks, to ensure structural loads are within
design limits and the appropriate restraint
system is applied,” state the guidelines.
Reconfiguration of the aircraft also requires
a formal authorisation from the national
aviation authority of the operator.
The FAA and EASA state that as passenger
cabins do not feature smoke detection
systems (other than in the lavatories),
aircraft carrying cargo in the passenger
cabin should also carry one or more company
employees, sitting apart from the cargo,
but with a clear view of it so they are alert
to detect smoke or fire and deal with any
issues using firefighting equipment, to which
they should have unimpeded access.