Dangerous Goods

Is there a European regulation on dangerous goods training requirements or should each European country follow its own national regulations?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations, Annex III (Part ORO), Annex IV (Part CAT), Annex V (Part SPA), Annex VI (Part NCC), Annex VII (Part NCO)

European rules regarding the transport of dangerous goods can be found in the Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations (Air OPS). Air OPS Regulation substitutes the EU-OPS Regulations. So far, only the rules for commercial air transport and non-commercial operations have been published in Annexes I to VII of the Air OPS. The rules on aerial work (specialised operations) will follow later to complete it.

Apart from the implementing rules which are comprised in the Regulation (EU) 965/2012, the Acceptable Means of Compliance (AMC) and Guidance Material (GM), which are published as EASA Decisions on the Agency's website, should be taken into account as well (namely Decisions 2012/015/R through to 2012/019/R, respectively the amended ones 2013/017/R through to 2013/022/R).

The requirements in ORO.GEN.110, CAT.GEN.MPA.200, SPA.DG.105, NCC.GEN.150 and NCO.GEN.140 are more general, whereas the related AMC/GM (especially AMC1 SPA.DG.105(a) in ED Decision 2013/020/R on Part SPA) include more specific details.

The requirements stipulated in Part I, Chapter 4 of the ICAO Doc 9284-AN/905, Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, mentioned as a further reference in the Air OPS Regulation, must also be complied with.

In addition, national aviation authorities are responsible for approving the dangerous goods training in their countries and therefore they have to establish the conditions under which they shall be approved. For detailed information on training requirements (including the type of training interaction - classroom or computer-based training), each operator should contact the national aviation authority in their country of registration.

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Q2: What are the rules concerning the carriage of portable air concentrators (POC) on board? Can they be used during the whole flight?

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations, Annex IV (Part CAT); Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 on the right of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air

Portable air concentrators (POC) do not contain oxygen as such; they only concentrate the oxygen in the surrounding area. Therefore they should not be confused with oxygen bottles/cylinders. Under the European regulations, POCs do not have to be approved to be carried and used on board.

As POCs contain batteries, they fall under the definition of portable electronic devices (PEDs).

In accordance with the European regulations (AMC1 CAT.GEN.MPA.140 (b)(2)(i)), medical equipment necessary to support physiological functions (i.e. POCs) does not need to be switched-off during any phases of the flight.

Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 establishes the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air. Article 4(3) of this Regulation requires an air carrier or its agent to make publicly available the safety requirements and relevant information on restrictions. For more information on Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006, please refer to the Commission's interpretative guidelines on this regulation from 11.06.2012, which has been published on the Commission's website and can be accessed using this link.

If passengers have special needs, they should request more information from the airline at the time of booking.

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Q1: What are the rules for passengers using bottled oxygen on board an aircraft?

[NOTE: Q1 and Q2 must be read together as they are closely related.]

Reference: Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 on Air Operations; Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 on the right of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air

Article 10 of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 establishes the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air. The Regulation also stipulates that air operators should provide assistance, including transportation of medical equipment subject to dangerous goods legislation. Article 4(3) of this Regulation requires an air carrier or its agent to make publicly available the safety requirements and relevant information on restrictions. Annex II to the Regulation stipulates that the relevant legislation on dangerous goods can be invoked to limit the transport of mobility equipment. For more information on Regulation 1107/2006, please refer to the Commission's interpretative guidelines on this regulation from 11.06.2012, which has been published on the Commission's website and can be accessed here.

Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 of 5 October 2012 on Air Operations (Air OPS Regulation) refers to Annex 18 of the Chicago Convention and the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by air when relating to their carriage on board. For safety reasons, oxygen/air cylinders or bottles are considered dangerous goods and fall under Annex 18 of the Chicago Convention; therefore, the provisions under Part 8 of the ICAO Technical Instructions must be applied to passengers who intend to carry these items with them on board. Oxygen/air cylinders for medical use of no more than 5 kg gross weight and never containing liquid oxygen are allowed in checked and carry-on baggage or on the person, with approval of the operator. In addition, the operator must provide the pilot-in-command with written information on their number and location on board. The valves and regulators of oxygen bottles must be protected from damage which could cause inadvertent release of the contents. Under the ICAO Technical Instructions, spare oxygen cylinders of a similar size are also allowed to ensure an adequate supply for the duration of the journey. The operator's Operations Manual, which has been approved by the National Authority, will contain procedures on the use of oxygen bottles.

Nevertheless, for safety reasons, national authorities may decide to prohibit all oxygen bottles, irrespective of their size, from being carried on board by passengers. Where the national authorities allow oxygen bottles of less than 5 kg to be taken on board, it is still left to the discretion of the operator to accept them, also due to safety reasons (oxygen is highly flammable and it cannot be guaranteed that the bottles/valves have been maintained properly).  
If passengers have special needs, they should request more information from the airline at the time of booking.

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Which operators have to establish and maintain dangerous goods training programmes? Which training programmes should be approved by the authority?

The rule reference is ORO.GEN.110 (j). All operators subject to ORO.GEN.005 must establish and maintain dg training programmes in all cases. The approval, however, is only necessary if:

  • It is a CAT operation
  • The operator is transporting dangerous goods and performing:
    • Commercial specialised operations:
    • Non-commercial operations with complex motor-powered aircraft; or
    • Non-commercial specialised operations with complex motor-powered aircraft.

There is also an alleviation in ORO.GEN.110 (k) for operators of sailplanes, balloons, and certain single-engined propeller-driven airplanes and single-engined other-than motor-powered helicopters of 5700 Kg or less of MCTM and an MOPSC of 5 or less operating in a flight taking off and landing at the same aerodrome/operating site under VFR by day, where the requirement is that operators shall ensure that the flight crew has received an appropriate training or briefing to enable them to recognise undeclared dangerous goods brought on-board by passengers or as cargo (refer to the rule for more information).

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