THANOS magazine

October 25, 2022

International standards for the transportation of human remains by air

Have you got your copy of the IATA compassionate transportation manual yet?

By Lucy Exell, Manager Cargo Industry Programs at IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing over 290 airlines in 120 countries and 83% of total air traffic. IATA supports many areas of aviation activity and helps formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues. IATA’s mission is to represent, lead, and serve the airline industry by working together to shape the future growth of a safe, secure and sustainable air transport industry that connects and enriches our world. IATA member airlines transport over 56 million metric tons of goods a year by air cargo, representing more than 35% of global trade by value but less than 1% of world trade by volume. That is equivalent to $6.8 trillion worth of goods annually, or $18.6 billion worth of goods every day.


From the beginning, IATA’s purpose was clearly defined: to promote safe, regular and economical air transport for the benefit of the peoples of the world, to foster commerce, to solve problems, to facilitate collaboration among airlines and to coordinate other international organizations. IATA’s purpose has been relevant enough to stand the test of time. Seven decades later, it is largely unchanged.


The Compassionate Transportation Manual (CTM) aligns and collates all human remains handling procedures for current best practices to ultimately improve the shipping experience and provide guidance to airlines, funeral directors and other parties involved in the process of shipping human remains by air on the factors that need to be considered.
The smooth process relies on understanding of the air cargo process, document management and funeral home preparedness. Document loss and shipment damage are two of the key issues around the transportation of human remains.
The CTM addresses how to mitigate both. It also provides up-to-date information on country import and export regulations and information on how to handle infections remains.


The third edition of the IATA Compassionate Transportation Manual (CTM) is effective from 1 January 2023 and constitutes a manual of standards, procedures and recommended practices to assist supply chain partners, freight forwarders, funeral directors and airlines in the transport of human remains.


Read the whole article in the autumn issue of THANOS magazine
- you can read online at pages 32-34

IATA is pleased to offer FIAT-IFTA members a 30% discount for the IATA Compassionate Transportation Manual (CTM) 2023.
Special promo code can be found in autumn issue of THANOS magazine.

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