Cargo Weight & Balance Calculation

Optimally Planning the Payloads of Cargo Aircraft

Semiautomatic planning of the weight and balance of cargo aircraft will soon be based on a much better standard at the responsible department of Fraport Ground Services, RP3 (Operations).

An aircraft’s weight and balance are calculated in compliance with strict IATA regulations as part of flight preparations. A so-called load and trim sheet is required for every commercial flight. It lists the weight and distribution of the passengers, fuel, cargo, and all equipment required to operate the flight. The distribution of the overall load within the aircraft – important for monitoring the maximum permissible masses – and the aircraft’s center of gravity – the trim – are included. The trim must also remain within a prescribed tolerance during takeoff, the entire flight, and landing. When preparing the loading plan, it is necessary not only to consider the positions, weights, and sizes of cargo units but especially also whether the IATA rules permit them to be stowed adjacent to one another in the aircraft.

Our departments and IT are currently making a list of requirements for the new system, taking the complexity of the task into account. It will permit both manual and automatic preparation of load and trim sheets. To avoid interfaces, which are potential sources of error, the goal is to develop a cargo weight and balance system that integrates as many as possible of the steps involved in planning how an aircraft is loaded. When the new system is ready, we will be able to offer our customers a significantly improved service for planning aircraft payloads.