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Sun, Apr 10, 2011

UPS To Become First Global Carrier to Add 'EVAS' Safety Gear

Company Adopts Joint Task Force Recommendation

Somewhat topical in light of recent news about emergency landings due to evidence of smoke in the cockpit or cabin, a UPS announcement that it would equip its air fleet with the Emergency Vision Assurance System (EVAS), makes it the first international air carrier to take such a step. Installation of the enhanced safety equipment comes at the recommendation of the Joint UPS-Independent Pilots Association (IPA) Safety Task Force.

"Safety ownership is a core value at UPS," said UPS Airlines President Mitch Nichols. "We have long been committed to protecting our employees, aircraft and customers' shipments and this new equipment will add yet another layer of safety."

"Since forming the safety task force last fall, the IPA and UPS have mobilized quickly to research and recommend fire safety enhancements," said IPA and Safety Task Force member Capt. Bob Brown, lauding the level of cooperation between union and company. "EVAS is an important step forward." In the event of smoke in the cockpit, EVAS helps maintain a pilot's critical field of vision by displacing the smoke with a transparent Inflatable Vision Unit (IVU).

"EVAS allows pilots to see their flight path, vital instruments and perform the key tasks of flying in dense-smoke situations," said Bertil Werjefelt, the president of Vision Safe, which manufactures the device. "It's a real safety enhancement and we're very pleased to be working with UPS Airlines."

Installation is expected to begin with UPS's B-767 fleet, after which the equipment will be added to the primary over-water aircraft, the B-747-400 and MD-11. Full fleet equipage will be a multi-year process as the company works to obtain proper certifications and cycle aircraft through modification. UPS and the IPA will continue their joint safety and fire mitigation efforts, evaluating current and emerging types of technology and equipment.

VisionSafe Corporation was formed to explore various new ways to provide vision for individuals in common land and air environments as well as marine, submarine and scuba diving environments. In the process, the company developed and patented the EVAS system for pilots who might have to deal with smoke in a cockpit. The system has been certified by the Federal Aviation Administration since 2001.

FMI: www.ups.com, www.evasworldwide.com, Aero-TV: Safety Tip of the Week - The Emergency Vision Assurance System

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