Research became reality today when UPS (NYSE:UPS) placed an industry-first order for 1,821 fire-resistant shipping containers. The implementation of these unit load devices (ULDs) represents a milestone in aviation history, offering unprecedented protection from intense fires. Delivery of the new containers will begin this September and is expected to be complete by early 2014.
The new containers are the most visible in a series of fire safety enhancements recommended by the UPS-Independent Pilots Association Safety Task Force. Working through that group, UPS has also implemented the following safety enhancements:
- Fire containment covers for cargo pallets: UPS has purchased 575 of the covers, which can contain a 1,200-degree fire for four hours.
- Quick donning, full-face oxygen masks for pilots: UPS is installing these masks, which can be put on with one hand in three seconds, throughout its air fleet by the end of 2014.
- The Emergency Vision Assurance System (EVAS) for pilots: UPS has completed installation of this inflatable cockpit vision system on our 747-400 fleet. The system enables pilots to see their instruments and out of the front window when smoke is present.