Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air

Published on Thursday 25 May 2023

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.

Competency-based training

The Competency Based Training Approach (CBTA) related to dangerous goods first emerged in 2019 as an alternative to the trainings based on categories of personnel. Since 01st January 2023, CBT has become the only training approach. However, personnel holding a category training certificate will remain valid until its expiry. The coexistence of these two approaches should end no later than December 31, 2024.

In order to assist air operators in understanding and implementing CBT, the DSAC has produced a guide. This guide presents the philosophy of CBT, describes and illustrates the concepts which, although new for the transport of dangerous 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.

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 2023-2024

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.


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 2023: summary of the provisions in force to carry lithium batteries in freight

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

Electronic cigarettes

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

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 available 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.


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.

Before a consignment of dangerous goods is offered for air transport, all relevant persons involved in its preparation must have received training to enable them to carry out the functions for which they are responsible. Where a shipper does not have trained staff, the “relevant persons” may be interpreted as applying to those employed to act on the shipper’s behalf and to undertake the shipper’s responsibilities in the preparation of the consignment. However, such persons must be trained.

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)
Téléphone : +(33) (0)1 40 81 17 28
Mél :


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