Dangerous Goods

1. Aircraft Equipment

1.1 For airworthiness or operating reasons, or for the health and comfort of passengers and crew, an aircraft carries items which are, or contain, dangerous goods by definition. In general these are:

(a) Fuel;

(b) Oxygen (gaseous/chemical);

(c) Life-saving appliances;

(d) Fire extinguishers;

(e) First aid kits;

(f) Batteries;

(g) Insecticides;

(h) Air fresheners.

1.2 Such items when carried for use are excluded from the requirements applicable to the transport of dangerous goods by air. However, it should be noted that some of the dangerous goods in aircraft equipment might be regarded as having a high hazard when transported as cargo and be subject to strict controls in such circumstances, including being forbidden for transport on passenger aircraft. It is essential that items intended as replacements for aircraft equipment be consigned in accordance with the Technical Instructions; these provide that the normal transport requirements be met, except that, when consigned by an Operator, containers which have been specifically designed for aircraft spares may be used in lieu of those specified in the appropriate packing instructions.

2. Catering or cabin service supplies

2.1 Alcoholic beverages, perfumes, aftershave, safety matches, liquefied gas lighters (excluding those which are disposable and those liable to leak when exposed to reduced pressure), aerosols and dry ice are often carried for use in flight or for purchase by passengers. As items of dangerous goods with primarily a flammable hazard (except for dry ice) there is the potential for them to cause a problem during flight unless they are stowed safely when not in use. When they are in use care should be taken to ensure they are not spilt or used if there is the possibility of them being ignited. Aerosols may present a particular hazard in this respect since they now usually have a flammable gas (butane/propane) as the propellant. Their stowage should ensure they are kept away from all sources of heat and when in use there is the need to avoid the contents being sprayed where there is the possibility of an ignition source being present. There are alternatives available for use instead of aerosols, many of them are pump-action and they are not regarded as items of dangerous goods if the contents are not flammable, toxic or corrosive.

2.2 Whilst items for catering or cabin service supplies when in use are excluded from the requirements applicable to the transport of dangerous goods by air, their replacements are not. They must be carried in full accordance with the Technical Instructions including the packaging provisions, since unlike replacements for aircraft equipment, there is no acceptable alternative to these.

3. Medical aid for a patient

3.1 Gas cylinders, drugs, medicines, other medical material (such as sterilising wipes) and wet cell or lithium batteries are the dangerous goods that may be provided for use in flight as medical aid for a patient; what is actually carried will depend on patient needs.

The items carried for medical aid must meet the following criteria:

(a) Gas cylinders must have been manufactured specifically for containing and transporting that gas;

(b) Drugs, medicines and other medical material must be under the control of trained personnel when they are in use;

(c) Equipment containing wet cell batteries must be kept and, when necessary, secured upright to prevent the leakage of electrolyte; and

(d) Proper provision must be made to stow and secure all the equipment during takeoff and landing and at other times when thought necessary, in order to ensure aircraft safety.

3.2 This medical aid is not intended to be part of the normal equipment of the aircraft. It may also be carried on a flight made by the same aircraft to collect a patient or after that patient has been delivered when it is impracticable to load or unload at the time of the flight on which the patient is carried.

4. Veterinary aid or a humane killer for an animal

It is the drugs which are carried as veterinary aid and the cartridges for a humane killer which are likely to be items of dangerous goods. They should be under the control of trained personnel when they are in use and kept stowed securely at all other times. They may also be carried on a flight made by the same aircraft to collect an animal or after that animal has been delivered when it is impracticable to load or unload them at the time of the flight on which the animal is carried.

5. Passengers and crew members

5.1 Some dangerous goods are excluded from the normal requirements when they are carried by passengers or crew members, provided certain conditions are met. The main items are:

(a) Alcoholic beverages, when the alcohol by volume is more than 24% but not more than 70%, they are in retail packaging, the individual receptacles do not exceed 5 litres net quantity and the total net quantity per person does not exceed 5 litres;

(b) Medicinal or toiletry articles (including aerosols, hair sprays, perfumes and medicines containing alcohol), when the net quantity of each single article does not exceed 0.5 litre or 0.5 kg and the total net quantity of all articles does not exceed 2 litres or 2 kg;

(c) Safety matches or a lighter when for personal use and when carried on the person;

(d) A hydrocarbon gas powered hair curler, when the safety cover is securely fitted over the heating element, but refills cannot be carried.

5.2 In addition to the above, battery-powered wheelchairs or other mobility aids may be carried as checked baggage, under certain conditions. These are:

(a) For non-spillable batteries: the battery is securely attached to the equipment, it is disconnected and the terminals insulated to prevent accidental short circuits;

(b) For spillable batteries where the equipment can be kept upright at all times: the battery is securely attached to the equipment, it is disconnected and the terminals insulated to prevent accidental short circuits;

(c) For spillable batteries where the equipment cannot be kept upright at all times: the battery is removed and packed in strong, rigid, leak-tight packaging, impervious to battery fluid; it is secured upright in the packaging, protected from accidental short circuits and surrounded by absorbent material in sufficient quantity to absorb the total liquid contents; the package is marked "Battery wet with wheelchair" or "Battery wet with mobility aid" and has on it an indication of its correct orientation and a "Corrosives" label; the package is stowed securely in the cargo compartment of the aircraft;

(d) The Pilot in Command is informed of the location of a wheelchair or mobility aid with an installed battery or of a packed battery.

5.3 It is becoming increasingly common for passengers or crewmembers to carry consumer electronic devices, such as cameras and laptop computers; often these have lithium or lithium -ion batteries as the power source. When these are carried for personal use there is no restriction on the installed batteries. Spare batteries may only be carried in carry-on baggage providing they are individually protected from short circuits, they are in carry-on baggage and, for lithium metal or lithium alloy batteries, they have a lithium content not exceeding 2 g or, for lithium -ion batteries, they have an aggregate equivalent lithium content not exceeding 8 g. Not more than two spare lithium –ion batteries with an aggregate lithium content exceeding 8 g but not exceeding 25 g may also be carried providing they are individually protected and in carry-on baggage.

5.4 There are many other items, some of a specialised nature, which passengers and crewmembers may be permitted to carry. The full list can be found in the Technical Instructions.

6. Information for passengers

6.1 One of the biggest problems faced by Operators is passengers who take, or try to take, on to an aircraft items of dangerous goods that are prohibited. In these circumstances there is the potential for an incident to occur in flight, with disastrous results; and there have been such events in the past. To address the problem, there are requirements for information to be provided with the ticket and for notices.

6.2 Notices must be in sufficient number and prominently displayed so that passengers can see them easily during their normal progression through the departure procedures. They must appear:

(a) At any place where passengers check-in;

(b) At airports where tickets are issued;

(c) At airports where boarding areas are maintained.

6.3 Information with the ticket includes having it on the ticket, on the ticket wallet or on a separate leaflet. Where an electronic ticket is issued, such as when a booking has been made on-line, the information is to be given in some other manner providing the passenger receives it prior to the check-in process. Any suitable method of giving this information may be used, including having it as part of the general information in the computerised booking system, providing the passenger cannot by-pass the information during the booking process.

6.4 The notices and ticket information must warn passengers about the types of dangerous goods which should not be carried on an aircraft; reference may also be made to those which are permitted. The information should be easily understood and may be conveyed by pictographs or similar and may be supplemented with text.

6.5 Providing visual information for passengers relies on them reading or seeing it; and experience suggests that sometimes they do not do so. Operators may benefit from supplementing the notices and ticket warnings with occasional verbal checks. For instance, it is recommended that check-in staff be instructed to ask passengers a direct question by pointing to the notice and enquiring if passengers have any items of the type depicted.

6.6 Making information for passengers noticeable has always been a problem for Operators. Whilst notices are the legal requirement, there may be other ways in which information can be provided that may attract the attention of passengers. One of the most attractive methods is to have display cabinets in the public areas of an airport, containing items that passengers cannot take on aircraft and pointing out that incidents can happen if forbidden items are taken on board. Operators considering this idea should consult with airport authorities. Information on this and other ideas on passenger awareness can be found in the Supplement to the Technical Instructions.


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