Airworthiness of Aircraft


In order to facilitate the continuation of Air cargo services, which is vital for fighting the COVID-19 crisis, it is essential for the air cargo services not be disrupted so that critical cargo supplies such as food and medical supplies (e.g. masks, gloves, clothing, etc.) can be delivered.  Some of the critical cargo supplies may be classified as dangerous goods, and this would need to be taken into account as part of a risk assessment when issuing approvals.


Due to the increase in demand for the transport of air cargo, currently, underutilized passenger aircraft are increasingly needed to fly the mentioned type of cargo. Operators are evaluating the repurposing of passenger compartments to load cargo either in the passenger seats or by removing passenger seats in accordance with appropriate airworthiness approvals from the State of registry (SoR) to increase the volume available for the carriage of cargo or mail. Operators need to be aware that removing the seats require the appropriate operational approvals from the State of the Operator for any type of cargo operations.


Repurposing passenger aircraft not certified for the transport of cargo may require the approval of the State of Registry and may need coordination with the State of Design of the aircraft. The SoR has an obligation under Annex 8 to approve or accept modifications relevant to the continuing airworthiness of an aircraft. The SoR is also responsible for developing or adopting requirements to ensure the continuing airworthiness of the aircraft during its service life, including requirements to ensure that the aircraft continues to comply with the appropriate airworthiness requirements after modification, a repair or the installation of a replacement part.


The purpose of Table 1 below is to provide information on the guidelines published by ICAO Member States and other organizations concerning the transportation of cargo in a cabin certified to carry passengers. These guidelines also contain examples of technical information and related aspects for the issuance of an exception/exemption to an operator when no approved design change exists or related technical investigations are on-going. Design Approval Holders such as Airbus and Boeing have published specific guidelines to support the repurposing of aircraft passenger cabin for the transport of cargo. This Table will be continuously updated as more information becomes available.


If you are aware of other websites that have useful information on the repurposing of aircraft passenger cabin for the transport of cargo, please send the links to

Table 1: Member State CAAs and Organizations COVID-19 related URLs for Repurposing aircraft passenger cabin for transport of cargo

​Document Title/Reference


Airbus FOT Cargotransportation in the cabin REF.: 999.0028/20 Rev 00 dated 30-MAR-2020
Weight and Balance Manual  (WBM): 
Chapter CTL-LIM-CAB-FLL for A320, A330/340 and A350 families; 
Chapter 1-10-80 and 1-10-90 for A380
Chapter 1-10-04 for A300/A300-600

How to transport cargo in the aircraft cabin during COVID-19 outbreak? In-Service Information Reference00.00.00370 dated 6 Apr 2020
Transport of Cargo in Passenger Compartment and COVID-19 Safety Measures
Information ‐ All ModelGuidelines for Passenger Airplane Carriage of Cargo - Boeing: MOM‐20‐0239‐13BMulti Operator Message dated 20 April 2020
China CAA
​Part 121.215 Cargotransportation in the cabin
Operation Safety Bulletin-OSB-2020-01: Cabin for cargo transportation

EASA CM–CS–003 Issue 01(Installation of “Cargo Seat Bags” on Passenger Seats)
CAT.OP.MPA.160 Stowage of baggage and cargo
EASA AMC1 and AMC2CAT.OP.MPA.160 Stowage of baggage and cargo

Proposed Special Condition Installation of Cargo Seat BagsApplicable to Large Aircraft

​Guidelines for the transport of cargo in passenger aircraft 


FAA 14 CFR § 121.285 -Carriage of cargo in passenger compartments
Safety Alerts for Operators (SAFOs) 20008, Transporting Cargo on Transport-Category Airplanes Configured to Carry Passengers
Exemption for Transporting Cargo on Airplane Seats (FAA-2020-0429) 


IOSA Standard ManualSection Ground Handling Operations (GRH) GRH 3.4.12 and CAB 3.2.3.
SAE International
SAE ARP 4049 CargoRestraint on Aircraft Passenger Seats ‐ Main Passenger Cabin
​Singapore CAA
Carriage of Cargo in the Passenger Cabin
South African CAA
​Guidance for transport of cargo in the aircraft passenger cabin
(COVID-19 medical and essential supplies
​Transport Canada
​Transport of Cargo in Passenger Compartment - Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) No. 2020-04

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