New ICAO publication (Doc 10102)

Doc 10102, Guidance for Safe Operations Involving Aeroplane Cargo Compartments. First edition, 2020.

This manual, referenced in ICAO Annex 6 — Operation of Aircraft, Part I — International Commercial Air Transport — Aeroplanes, provides guidance material that addresses the safety risks associated with operations that involve the transport of items in the cargo compartments of an aeroplane. It also provides guidance material to assist States, civil aviation authorities, and the operators under their jurisdiction, in the development and/or implementation of prescriptive regulations and processes to address the provisions detailed in Chapter 15 of Annex 6, Part I.

The technological leaps in aviation made over the last century would not have been possible without parallel achievements in the control and reduction of safety risks. It is only through the disciplined application of the best safety risk management practices that the frequency and severity of aviation occurrences can continue to decline. Guidance for the hazards associated with the transport of items in aeroplane cargo compartments was previously not provided in ICAO Annex 6, Part I, and while the subject of dangerous goods was addressed in Chapter 14, other items regularly transported were not considered, and the functional capabilities of cargo compartments themselves were not directly addressed. This lack of detail in Annex 6 may have resulted in levels of risk that were higher than an operator realized, due to a lack of awareness of the limitations of the relevant aeroplane systems.

Provisions introduced through Amendment 44 to Annex 6, Part I establish the responsibility of operators to fully understand the risks associated with any items transported in the cargo compartments of their aeroplanes, while identifying the need for Type Certificate (TC) holders, Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) holders, and the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to provide the necessary information on relevant aircraft systems and additional equipment to operators for them to adequately assess risks. Many civil aviation authorities are increasing emphasis on a risk-based approach to regulatory compliance.

Many operators have the capability and resources necessary to analyse operational hazards, manage safety risks to levels as low as reasonably practicable and achieve target levels of safety performance. Together, these elements provide operational flexibility and form the framework for a proactive, self-correcting and continually improving safety system.