MEMPHIS, Tenn., 2013-07-30 — /travelprnews.com/ — On September 3, 2010, our industry lost two fellow aviators when UPS Flight 6 crashed near Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Yesterday, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) released its final report concerning the investigation into this fatal crash. The GCAA, while not pinpointing the origin of the fateful blaze, determined that the ensuing fire was promulgated by lithium batteries and found that smoke-detection equipment took too long to alert the crew.
The report provides recommendations specific to air cargo fire safety. The FedEx MEC joins ALPA in praising the GCAA for its thorough report. The report makes unmistakably clear the dangers of carrying large quantities of lithium batteries. “As cargo pilots, we are fully aware of the potential dangers associated with the carriage of lithium batteries,” said MEC chairman Captain Scott Stratton. “These pilots’ lives were tragically cut short as they valiantly tried to bring their crippled aircraft back to the ground. Through their actions, they were able to prevent a much larger disaster from occurring. We owe it to them as well as to all of those who fly this nation’s commerce every day, to ensure that regulatory directives are harmonized across the globe and robust enough to preclude future events such as this.”
The GCAA recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and its European counterpart develop better firefighting standards and equipment for cargo planes, with visual warnings about where a fire is located. The FedEx MEC strongly believes that the United States must take a leadership role in protecting aircraft against the possibility of catastrophic fires caused by lithium batteries. The improvement in regulations covering the transportation of large quantities of lithium batteries must proceed immediately in order to begin to eliminate this deadly hazard. “Now is the time for the U.S. government to act to ensure the safety of our skies,” said FedEx Legislative Affairs chairman Captain Fred Eissler. “We will continue to work with our government leaders, dangerous goods regulatory authorities, and our fellow airline pilots to address the safety issues and concerns found in the GCAA report.”
“The FedEx pilots are committed to working with industry and government leaders to minimize the risks associated with the carriage of dangerous goods,” continued Captain Stratton. “The GCAA’s report adds to the building body of evidence that clearly shows much more effort is needed to facilitate negating the risks associated with the carriage of lithium batteries.”
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SOURCE: Air Line Pilots Association
CONTACT: FDX ALPA, Courtney Bland, 901-842-2220 or Courtney.firstname.lastname@example.org