Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air

Published on Tuesday 18 October 2022

The transport of dangerous goods by air must comply with international regulation whose aim is to prevent risks to people, property and environment. The regulation applies to air operators, aerodrome operators and shippers.

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Registration of dangerous goods training organizations in the France Compétences reference system

Training organizations that wish to be registered in the France Compétences reference system are invited to send information specified in the letter below according to the corresponding described procedure.

The DSAC reminds that this registration does not constritute an approval granted by DSAC.

Competency-based training

The Competency Based Training Approach (CBTA) related to dangerious goods first emerged in 2019 as an alternative to the trainings based on categories of personnel. The coexistence of these two approaches is supposed to end on December 31, 2022, CBT then becoming the only training approach.
In order to assist air operators in understanding and implementing CBT, the DSAC has produced a guide. This guide presents the pilosophy of CBT, describes and illustrates the concepts which, although new for the transport of dangerious goods, is already used in other areas. Besides, it includes the outcome of the work performed by an European working group to which the DSAC has significantly contributed.

In addition, the DSAC has developed an Excel file whose aim is to help operators create their training plans. This tool is completed by a specific application : CBTool.

The whole is available on the webpage dedicated to DSAC guides in clicking on the link corresponding to the Guide CBT MD.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Recours à la visio-conférence

The DSAC has no objection in principle to training courses related to the transport of dangerous goods by air being delivered and facilitated through videoconference by a qualified instructor in accordance with the face-to-face duration provided for by the applicable regulations.

As far as air operators are concerned, the use of videoconferencing will be subject of a modification of the training programs which will specify the terms and conditions of implementation.

For entities other than air operators, the terms and conditions are described in the letter attached below.

Air operators


Air operators are subject to European regulation n° 965/2012, known as AIR OPS, which makes applicable Annex 18 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and ICAO Technical Instructions (DOC 9284) and supplement, in their latest update.


Annex 18
Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air: Doc 9284 (access is not free) and supplement (access is not free).

Emergency response guidance for aircraft incidents involving dangerous goods : Doc 9481 AN/928 (access is not free).
Addenda and corrigenda are available online on ICAO website as mentioned below.

Changes introduced in edition 2021-2022

The main changes introduced in the 2021-2022 edition are presented for information in the document below, without aiming to give an exhaustive list.
It is indeed the responsibility of any operator, organization or entity concerned by the transport of dangerous goods by air to identify changes in regulation related to new edition or addenda and corrigenda.



Please read document ref. 2014-10-23 – AIROPS – AMOC FR N°06 related to dangerous goods regulatory training on AltMOC - Alternative means of compliance AIROPS webpage.


Lithium cells and batteries

The transport of lithium cells and batteries by air is a subject to which particular attention must be paid.

You will find useful documents on the IATA website, in particular :

  • the guide on reducing the risks associated with transporting lithium batteries,
  • the document on the transport of lithium batteries. Do not hesitate to consult them.

Do not hesitate to consult them.

Important developments

January 2015: Lithium metal cells / batteries only (UN 3090, packing instruction IE 968, sections IA, IB & II).
These are cells / batteries which are not contained in equipment and which are not packed with equipment.
Cargo transport of lithium metal cells / batteries alone is only possible on cargo aircraft only (except special provision A201).

January 2016: transport of small personal transporters with lithium batteries (for example: Segways)

April 2016: lithium ion cells / batteries only (UN 3480) and lithium metal only (UN 3090)

  1. For passenger aircraft: Cargo transport of lithium ion cells / batteries alone (UN 3480, packing instruction IE 965) is prohibited.
  2. For cargo aircraft :
  • the state of charge of all lithium ion cells / batteries (UN3480, packing instruction IE 965) is limited to a level not exceeding 30% of their nominal capacity (unless authorized in application of special provision A331 of the supplement to the technical instructions);
  • for lithium ion cells / batteries only (UN 3480, packing instruction IE 965, section II) and lithium metal only (UN 3090, packing instruction IE 968, section II), the following provisions apply:
    • restriction for the sender to a single section II package per shipment or overpack
    • obligation for shippers to present lithium ion and lithium metal section II shipments to the operator separately from general non 'dangerous goods' freight (i.e. the shipment of these packages cannot be mixed with non 'dangerous goods') and not to place them in ULD loading units.

September 2021: summary of the provisions applicable to lithium cells / batteries transported as freight

Electronic cigarettes

As of June 2015, the carrying of electronic cigarettes in checked baggage is prohibited.

Procedures for extinguishing a fire in portable electronic equipment containing lithium cells / batteries

The video produced by CAA-UK explains standard procedures and emergency procedures for transporting lithium batteries. This video is particularly aimed at crews, but it also offers interesting information for all those involved in the transport of these batteries.

Electric mobility aids (wheelchairs, scooters, ...)

Electric mobility aids, especially those equipped with lithium batteries, should be subject to dedicated treatment.

The video produced by CAA-UK recalls some key points of this treatment. The red hatched border tag appearing in this video is not required by European regulations but can be considered a good practice that can be implemented by French operators.

Ground handling (Putting cabin baggage in the hold)

In the event of transfer in the hold of cabin baggage, questioning passengers about the contents of the baggage concurs to prevent the introduction of dangerous goods that are prohibited in the hold (lithium batteries alone or power banks, electronic cigarettes, etc.).

The video produced by the DGAC for air operator staff and subcontractors recalls the importance of this questioning.

DSAC Symposium

Lithium batteries were chosen as theme of the symposium organized by DSAC in December 2020. The link is presented below :

Symposium 2020 de la DSAC.


Dangerous goods on board an aircraft

Items not permitted to be carried in baggages on airplanes or helicopters or subject to restrictions in compliance with safety - dangerous goods regulation and security regulation cocnerning departure from France.


Transport of forbidden dangerous goods

Procedure, application form and required documents

The guide for the transport of forbidden dangerous goods describes the procedure for processing an exemption: see guides for air operators. The documents to be provided are listed in Appendix II of the application form. This form is avalaible below.

The exchange of documents and sensitive data must be done via a secured container. The container is available for download. See below.

The European States having implemented the application form are listed in the document below.

General aviation (NCC and NCO) and aerial work (SPO)

The provisions of the french decree of July 24, 1991 related to the conditions of use of civil aircraft in general aviation are been replaced for aircraft operators under the responsibility of the European Aviation Safety Agency (so-called “non-Annex II” aircraft) by the provisions of the regulations European (EU) n ° 800/2013 and n ° 379/2014, amending and supplementing European regulation (EU) n ° 965/2012 on the operation of non-commercial with complex motor-powered aircraft (NCC), non-commercial of other than complex motor-powered aircraft (NCO) and specialized operations (SPO).

The implementation of this new regulatory framework have introduced for operators the possibility of carrying dangerous good under conditions and a number of obligations in terms of staff training and procedures for air operators whether or not transporting dangerous goods.

These obligations and the expectations of the DSAC are detailed in a specific guide including, in the appendix, a compliance form intended to help operators in their process of demonstrating compliance with the regulation. This form in modifiable format can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

A frequently asked questions (FAQ) area is at your disposal.

This FAQ can be enriched with your questions. These should be submitted directly to your DSAC / IR.

The EASA has also developed a "dangerous goods" brochure aimed at crews, specialist task personnel and passengers in the frame of NCO (and NCO SPEC) operation. This brochure provides information on dangerous goods and describles the risks they could present to the aircraft and people on board if these goods were handled or carried incorrectly. It also provides information on the types of dangerous goods that can be carried on board an aircraft. It is available in French and English. The DSAC has actively contributed to the drafting of this brochure.

For aircraft known as "Annex II" aircraft, the current french regulation (decree of July 24, 1991) fully applies. Paragraph 5.10.8 of this decree specifies that the transport of dangerous goods is prohibited, unless the applicant has been authorized by the DSAC provided that the applicant demonstrates safety measure level equivalent to the one applicable to public air transport.

Aerodrome operators

With regards to the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Doc 9284 AN / 905, Part 7, Chapter 5) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), in their latest update, the aerodrome operators must ensure that notices to passengers regarding dangerous goods that are prohibited from carrying on board an aircraft are displayed in sufficient numbers at each location of the aerodrome where tickets are delivered, in areas where passengers proceed to the check-in or passengers wait before boarding and in all other places after check-in (waiting, check-in, boarding room, etc.).

These warnings must include visual examples of dangerous goods that are prohibited on board an aircraft.

Moreover, when the procedure for check-in can be performed without the intervention of a staff of the operator (for example, at an automatic check-in station), the aerodrome operators must ensure that provide passengers with information on the types of dangerous goods that are prohibited from carrying on board an aircraft. This information should be presented in the form of pictures and in such a way that the check-in process cannot be completed until such information has been presented to passengers, and passengers have indicated that they understand the restrictions that apply to the carriage of dangerous goods in baggage.

Other obligations in the field of dangerous goods are made to aerodrome operators in European regulation n°139/2014, known as "ADR", applicable to certified aerodromes or in french regulations. Consult Regulation related to aerodromes webpage.



When offering dangerous goods for air transport, shippers must comply with several obligations. These obligations relate to:

  • the training of their staff,
  • the classification, packaging, marking, labeling, storage and handling of dangerous goods and associated documentation (declaration of dangerous goods in particular).

These obligations are defined in Annex 18 and in the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Doc 9284) of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the associated supplement, in their last update.

Safety data sheet (SDS)

The safety data sheet for a product, established by the supplier (manufacturer, importer or distributor), provides information on the dangers of this product. It also specifies the possible classification of the product as dangerous goods with regards to the regulations: UN number, class / division, ... These information appear in Section 14 of the safety data sheet.

Useful addresses

Direction générale de l’Aviation civile (DGAC)
Direction de la sécurité de l’Aviation civile (DSAC)
Direction technique de la Navigabilité et des Opérations (DSAC/NO)
50 rue Henry Farman
75720 Paris cedex 15
Téléphone : +(33) (0)1 58 09 44 80
Facsimile : +(33) (0)1 58 09 45 52
Mél. :


Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN)
Direction du Transport et des Sources (DTS)
Bureau du contrôle des transports (BCT)
15 rue Louis Lejeune
CS 70013
92541 Montrouge cedex
Téléphone :  +33 (0)1 46 16 41 05
Mél :


Direction Générale de la Sécurité Civile et de la Gestion Des Crises (DGSCGC)
Centre Opérationnel de Gestion Interministérielle des Crises (COGIC)
Place Beauvau
75800 PARIS CEDEX 08
Téléphone : +(33) (0)1 45 64 46 46
Facsimile : +(33) (0)1 42 65 85 71
Mél :


Direction Générale de la Prévention des Risques (DGPR)
Service des Risques Technologiques (SRT)
Mission du Transport des Matières Dangereuses (MTMD) [par voie terrestre et maritime]
Téléphone : +(33) (0)1 40 81 17 28
Mél :

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