Airworthiness aspects for transport of cargo in the passenger cabin of Large Aeroplanes

In the context of the emergency situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic, EASA has committed to treating projects supporting the collective effort to transport medical supplies and other important goods as efficiently as possible. The following message is intended specifically for Design Organisations and Operators, and offers updated information on airworthiness and certification aspects.

We have developed further guidance on the design change classifications, certification aspects as well as use of Exemptions in accordance with Art. 71.1 of the Basic Regulation 2018/1139 for limited time periods. 

In order to enable an early availability of a transport solution in the frame of the current COVID-19 situation, EASA supports the use of the provisioning of Article 71.1, also for on-going projects, through additional support to National Competent Authorities and operators as required.  

For a permanent use, a design change approval is required.

Transport of medical supplies under a design change approval 

Approved Design Organizations may reclassify such modification as “Minor Change” and approve these under their DOA-privileges, allowing for the use of cabin seats when related to the transportation of medical supplies (e.g. masks, gloves, clothing, etc.) provided they are not classified as dangerous goods. This has to be indicated in the approval documents and AFM Supplement.

Since this kind of installation is a change in the scope of operation of the aeroplane, and in the absence of dedicated operational requirements covering this kind of operation, the installation and the procedures for operation have to be addressed taking into account the specific configuration of each aeroplane model affected. 

Transport of other cargo under a design change approval

For transport of cargo other than medical supplies as well as in case removal of seats are necessary to allow fixation of cargo onto the aircraft structure for cargo operation, a Major Change or STC application is required and will be processed by EASA with priority.

While preparing your documentation, please consider the following information:

  • For the installation of Cargo Seat Bags the CM-CS-003
  • The published Special Condition, can be used as appropriate guidance, also in the frame of Minor Changes. 
  • Already approved STC
  • Guidelines published by the aircraft manufacturers Airbus (ref.: FOT-999-0028-20-00) and Boeing (ref.: MOM-MOM-20-0239) have been issued.

Please note that this publication was superseded by  a more recent version.