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March Newsletter
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Airline Personnel Please Note!
If you ship or handle oxygen cylinders read below!

Effective March 1, 2000, oxygen cylinders will no longer be permitted to be loaded on passenger-carrying aircraft and in inaccessible cargo compartments on cargo aircraft only.

When you ship oxygen cylinders you would normally use the ICAO & IATA Packing Instruction 200.  If there is no valve protection feature on the cylinder the shipper is required to further pack the cylinder in a wood or fibreboard box. Note that this P/I specifically requires you to comply with the competent authority of the state of origin.  There are also State Variations that must be considered.  The U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) is the Competent Authority in the United States. RSPA's final rule covering the oxygen cylinders is mandatory for all U.S. Flag Carriers worldwide and Foreign Flag carriers entering or transiting the U.S.

Handling and loading oxygen is covered by 49CFR Part 175, which affects all carriers in the U.S.A.

The only exceptions to this rule by the Research and Special Programs Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation will be oxygen cylinders that are packaged in ATA Specification 300 boxes.  These boxes are fire resistant and should maintain a low enough temperature to prevent the cylinders from venting the oxygen in a fire within the baggage compartment.

There are further restrictions even if the required outer packaging meets the ATA 300 specification:

1.      No more than six oxygen cylinders may be loaded in a baggage compartment on a passenger-carrying aircraft or in an inaccessible compartment in an all-cargo aircraft.

2.      The cylinders must be loaded either on the baggage compartment floor, or the floor of a unit load device (ULD).

This rule also applies to passengers who may wish to take an oxygen cylinder on board an aircraft for medical use at the destination.

The airline will be allowed to load one oxygen cylinder in the passenger cabin for emergency medical use during the flight provided it is packaged in an ATA 300 specification box.

Passenger service and reservations agents and cargo agents should be alerted to this new restriction.

Shippers and forwarders wishing to ship oxygen cylinders on passenger-carrying aircraft must insure that the appropriate outer packaging is used.

R-A Specialists, Inc. does not have these packagings available at the present time.

The rule applies to U.S. Flag Carriers and Foreign Flag carriers operating to or from U.S. Cities and to all carriers transiting U.S. airspace.

For a full copy of the D.O.T. final rule you may download it by clicking Here

 If you do not have adobe acrobat reader down load a free copy Here.

Other important issues for March 2000.

European Community - the EC.

If you transport, load or unload dangerous cargoes in the European Community or European Union you may well be affected by the EC Directive that went into effect on 1 January 2000.

The EC now requires that certain shippers, distribution centers, freight forwarders, and carriers must have a Safety Advisor either on the payroll or under contract to perform safety audits, training, accident investigations, and issue reports on the handling of dangerous goods.  The Safety Advisor must be certified by one of the EU Countries after taking a one or two week training class and passing a difficult written 3 part test procedure. We have initially dedicated two EC-Certified employees and a part time clerical worker to this project. We anticipate opening an office in Europe (hopefully, Ireland) to handle this service but for the present time we will operate these functions from our New York office.


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