‘Custom ATA Cases’ – What They Are & Why You Need Them
Custom ATA cases have a history dating back almost a century. In 1936, a small group of airlines formed the Air Transport Association (ATA), a trade organization whose goal was to promote and support the air transportation industry. Today, the association is responsible for the bulk of industry regulations and standardized practices—including making sure reusable shipping cases meet strict standards for safety, durability, and protection.
ATA Spec 300
For a case to qualify as ATA compliant, it has to meet the specifications outlined in ATA Spec 300, an official list of standards published by the ATA. Spec 300 includes Categories I, II, and III. Custom ATA cases falling under Category I must be constructed using metal, plastic or fiberglass, and be able to handle at least 100 one-way trips with normal airline cargo handling. Category II cases are certified to withstand up to 10 one-way trips, and Category III can safely and securely handle one one-way trip. Our custom ATA cases from manufacturers including Pelican Cases, Wilson Cases, Zarges Cases and Anvil Cases, pass a strict battery of tests, which are performed by an independent testing facility, before the cases earn the ATA-compliant seal. Drop, water spray, vibration, and preservation packaging tests are a few of the many evaluations our custom ATA cases go through.
Why So Strict?
There’s no room for error flying 500 mph at 38,000 feet. That’s why ATA-300 Category I cases are extremely important in the aerospace industry. First, the cases protect the equipment inside during transport. This is a big deal when you consider the millions of dollars lost each year to improperly packed shipments.
Second, in many instances, custom ATA cases are designed to protect the world outside the case from what’s inside the case. For example, custom ATA cases for shipping hazardous materials can be customized with features such as thermal controls, pressurization, and specialized vent systems, to keep volatile materials or items safe and secure no matter how long or turbulent the journey.
At Custom Case Group, customers including Microsoft, Boeing, the U.S. Navy, and IndyCar depend on us to provide custom ATA cases designed to meet hundreds of unique specifications. If you’d like to learn more, take a look at our Aerospace Industry page.