NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman said “Fire onboard an
aircraft has long been a top concern for the National
Transportation Safety Board we commend UPS for
implementing this real world solution that addresses our
The containers are built with a revolutionary new panel
material, MACROLite, a fiber-reinforced plastic
composite similar to the material used in ballistic body
armor. Burn testing conducted by UPS and the Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA), and observed by the NTSB,
has shown that a ULD with MACROLite panels can contain a
fire with a peak temperature of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit
for more than four hours. That time frame would give a
flight crew ample time to land safely in the event of an
“We have tested these containers in the laboratory and
in live operations. They will enhance safety and
increase durability, and they are lighter, which will
reduce fuel burn and supports our ongoing sustainability
efforts,” said UPS Airlines President Mitch Nichols.
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-degreefire 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.
“Fire safety is an industry-wide matter,” said
Captain Houston Mills, UPS Airlines Director of
Safety. “We are proud to devise solutions that will
set a new standard in transportation all over the