0 min left

Airlines Need to Buy Fire Protection to Fly Cargo Instead of Passengers

With passenger numbers down, airlines have been flying more cargo. And, in response, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released new guidelines to govern flying cargo in the cabin of planes designed to fly people. Those guidelines were released on Thursday, April 16, 2020, in an FAA safety alert.
Passengers Aren’t Cargo
“It is an extraordinary situation, however, for an entire passenger cabin to be loaded with cargo,” the FAA said in the safety alert. “Passenger cabins are not designed for an all-cargo configuration.”
One major difference is the need for fire detection. It’s a greater concern with cargo than passengers. Crewmembers must be able to quickly detect and fight fires when flying cargo. To compensate, airlines must fly with “one or more” additional crew members whose job it is to sense fires and extinguish them. Currently, passenger planes don’t have fire detectors or fire suppression systems.
sddjd April 21, 2020

Passenger aircraft do have suppression, but only in the holds below the passenger deck. They use (typically) halon to douse a fire, but doing so in a cabin would also cause the passengers to asphyxiate. In the cabins smoke detectors and human presence are relied on.

cscasi April 21, 2020

The agent(s) used to suppress the fire are harmful to passengers! Want to inhale the stuff they use to suppress engine fires??

pmiranda April 21, 2020

Plane and Pilot already did a piece on this. The cargo-only flights still have flight attendants, who are already trained to deal with onboard fires. Easy hours and no exposure to sick passengers :)

djheini April 21, 2020

@J S They do have things like fire extinguishers in the cabin that the crew could use, but I think the article is referring to the cargo hold fire suppression systems that deploy things like halon or fire extinguishing powder, which you would not want going off in a cabin full of passengers.

kc1174 April 21, 2020

The last two comments demonstrate why a carefully written article is needed at times, and not just tossed together as is the case here. JS - passenger planes have fire detection and extinguishing systems. drvannostren - you hit the nail squarely on the head which this article failed at miserably. Meg, could you possibly take another swing at this with a link to the FAA notice and maybe less nonsense please? “Currently, passenger planes don’t have fire detectors or fire suppression systems”. Here’s a few systems on a typical passenger 777 for example: 1) Engine fire and overheat detection and extinguishing 2) APU fire detection and extinguishing 3) Cargo compartment smoke detection and extinguishing 4) Wheelwell fire detection 5) Wing leading edge and body duct leak overheat detection 6) Lavatory and cabin smoke detection and extinguishing