Air cargo pallets and their cargo restraint nets constitute aircraft Unit Load Devices, defined by industry standards and airworthiness certified based on Technical Standard Order (TSO) C90c in accordance with the requirements of NAS 3610. This guarantees their design to be intrinsically safe for flight on board compatible aircraft types. However, actual flight safety also requires these certified pieces of equipment to be properly used: numerous occurrences have demonstrated a certified ULD can nevertheless jeopardize flight safety if loaded or restrained in an inadequate manner. Accordingly, this ARP aims at providing recognized industry standard methods to achieve the best attainable level of safety when preparing air cargo pallets for loading on board aircraft, taking into account the requirements to be met as a result of the ULD's airworthiness certification requisites, the general requirements expressed in the aircraft manufacturers Weight and Balance Manuals, as well as the various potential areas of concern identified based on experience. This ARP therefore provides recommended practical means of compliance with flight safety objectives, intended to be available as a common base for carriers as well as shippers and cargo handling agents when establishing their own in-house publications and staff training programs. This ARP assumes any air cargo pallet prepared shall, prior to release for loading on board an aircraft, be inspected and found satisfactory by competent, suitably trained personnel responsible for checking it meets all applicable flight safety requirements. This ARP shall not, under any circumstance, supersede the requirements of applicable airworthiness regulations (see FAR Part 25) or the aircraft manufacturer's Weight and Balance Manual.
ARP5486 has been reaffirmed to comply with the SAE five-year review policy.