Technical and engineering services for temporary operational changes from passenger to cargo aircraft have seen great interest in the aviation market lately.
For example, the cabin modification experts of Lufthansa Technik have received enquiries from more than 40 airlines so far. More than 15 projects for different aircraft types are already in the implementation phase. A special highlight is the first ever operational change from passenger to cargo of an Airbus A380. Lufthansa Technik has been awarded this task from an undisclosed customer.
Henning Jochmann, Senior Director Aircraft Modification Base Maintenance at Lufthansa Technik said:
“Over the past days, we have received strong interest from different airlines regarding our passenger to freighter service capabilities”
“As the workscope comprises much more than just taking out seats, you need engineering experts who know exactly what the challenges are and how to document the technical solutions so correctly that the aviation authorities agree.”
“The current exemption and our solution for it can be transferred to our Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) at a later point of time without major adjustments. This means that anyone who opts for Lufthansa Technik’s exceptional solution now can easily switch to the permanent STC solution later.”
Normally, an aircraft that has been granted an approval for passenger transport cannot simply be loaded with cargo in the cabin, as the approval criteria for passenger cabins and cargo compartments are completely different.
For example, cargo has a different floor load, i.e. the structural load capacity of a passenger aircraft is lower than that of a cargo aircraft. While for passenger transport rescue routes must be kept clear and the oxygen supply must be ensured for each individual passenger, special fire protection measures must be taken on board a freighter. All these criteria, and some more, must be taken into account and incorporated into the technical documentation by suitably qualified engineers.
Lufthansa Technik says it is currently working flat out to obtain Supplemental Type Certificates for all common aircraft types so that airlines can quickly convert their passenger aircraft into auxiliary freighters.