Dangerous Goods

Airports · 3 min read · Dec 06, 2021
dangerous goods

What is meant by hazardous materials?

Hazardous materials or dangerous goods are commodities that are dangerous to transport aboard an aircraft because they may cause damage to the aircraft or its occupants. Certain commodities are not considered hazardous in normal circumstances, but they can be hazardous when transported by aircraft. The FAA categorizes these materials into various classifications.

Classes of hazardous materials

A placard displaying 9 types of dangerous goods: explosives, gasses, flammable liquid, flammable solid, oxidizer, poison, radioactive, corrosive and others.
Image source: https://cleanitup.com/

FAA has defined nine classes for identifying dangerous goods. UN model regulation also identified these classes to identify and handle goods properly in air transportation.

Class 1 Explosives

CLASS 1 HAZMAT Explosives are hazardous materials that can explode, erupt, or blast as a result of a chemical reaction. Explosives are considered hazardous for air travel because they can injure passengers and wreck aircraft structures. The temperature rise, noise, and radiation emitted by an explosive in flight could result in catastrophic consequences. Military ordnance, fireworks, flares, fuses, rocket sections, and TNT products are examples of common explosives carried on an airplane.

Class 2 Gases

Gases classified as Class 2 dangerous goods have a vapor pressure of 300 kPa or higher at 50°C. Components with gaseous characteristics at 20°C, as well as products containing such gases, are likewise considered hazardous for air transportation. Compressed gases, refrigerated gases, gas mixtures, liquefied gases, and dissolved gases are all included in this category. Gases are hazardous for air travel since they can be combustible or life-threatening, as well as being colorless and odorless. Airplanes commonly transport aerosols, compressed air, fire extinguishers, gas cartridges, agricultural gases, refrigerant gases, gas lighters, and petroleum gases.

Class 3 Flammable Liquids

Dangerous flammable liquids are defined as flammable liquid materials with a flashpoint of less than 65°C. Due to their volatility and combustion properties, such liquids can pose major risks. Acetone, glue, alcohol, petrol, agricultural products, and paint materials are frequently delivered via air cargo.

Class 4 Flammable Solids

Due to friction and sensitive reaction qualities, such solid materials are combustible or may engage in a fire. Dangerous solid solids also contain components that reactivate easily when exposed to air or water. Because of their volatility, combustibility, and spread, flammable solids pose a risk to air freight. Alkali metals, powdered metals, matches, sulfur, desensitized explosives, and sodium batteries are all widely air-transported flammable solids.

Class 5 Oxidizer

Oxidizers are substances that can cause combustion due to the effect of oxygen produced as a result of chemical interactions. Oxidizers are often not combustible, although they can create oxygen, which can aid in combustion. Certain oxidizers can also cause problems, including skin and eye infections. Chemical oxygen generators, nitrates, chlorates, nitrates, and perchlorates are all examples of oxidizers.

Class 6 Poison

Poisonous substances are those toxic materials that, if swallowed, inhaled, or touched, can cause illness or even death. Pathogens are commonly found in such materials. Rules define pathogens as substances containing microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungal agents that are harmful to human health. Medical waste, fuel, oils, colors, acids, cyanides, lead, mercury, nicotine, phenol, and other pollutants fall into this category.

Class 7 Radioactive Material

Radioactive materials are volatile materials with unstable atoms that emit radiations continually as they decay. These compounds are hazardous because they can ionize substances within the human body, altering cell activity. Radioactive contaminants can potentially interfere with aircraft transmission and cause structural or other sensitive equipment damage.

Class 8 Corrosives

Corrosive materials are chemicals that harm or disintegrate other materials upon contact. Such elements are destructive to the structure of the airplane, the human body, and other things in the surrounding environment.

Class 9 Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials & Lithium Batteries

Miscellaneous dangerous products are items that pose a risk during transportation but are not classified in any of the preceding categories. This category comprises ecologically hazardous substances transported at high temperatures, genetic samples, magnetic compounds, and so on. Such materials are deemed hazardous to human health, aircraft structure, and overall flight safety. Dry ice, hazardous compounds, and other specific harmful items are forms of miscellaneous goods.

How do airlines transport dangerous goods?

Airlines are obligated to promote safety in all of their operations. If an airline aspires to be certified for commercial operations, it must follow FAA standards and develop operations specifications for transporting dangerous items on domestic routes and in most countries. Numerous countries have adopted the same regulations to maintain the aviation industry safe and reliable.

Stacked yellow gas barrels ready to be transported as dangerous goods.

FAQs of Dangerous Goods

What are examples of dangerous goods?

Dangerous goods are materials that are unsafe for air transportation and may cause damage to equipment, occupants, or the general public. The FAA employs the term dangerous goods to categorize goods into distinct classifications. These items are explosives, gases, liquid flammables, solid flammables, oxidizers, poison, radioactive materials, corrosives, and other commodities.

What does the list of dangerous goods contain?

A list of dangerous goods includes items that could be hazardous to air freight. This list defines objects and their nature; all harmful goods are categorized into nine categories for ease of recognition and severity.

Want to read more like this?

Enter your email and get curated content straight to your inbox!

Thank your for your subscription.

You are already subscribed to this newsletter.

Aeroclass Team
A team of professionals with a deep passion for the aviation industry bringing you the newest and the most striking industry-related news and content.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent posts


Airport Runways: What do those big numbers mean?

Airports · 5 min read

To the aviation industry, these letters, numbers, and markings make complete sense and are fundamentally significant in order to carry out airport operations safely. Runway markings and runway numbers are one of them.

May 21, 2024

The Meaning of Airport Runway Lights

Airports · 5 min read

Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine a modern airport without one of its most notable attributes: the runway lights. Most of the passengers who are completely unrelated to aviation on a daily basis, often speculate about the purpose of these lights.

Apr 24, 2024
gate agent

What Does a Gate Agent Do?

Airports · 5 min read

Although a gate agent's job might seem like a self explanatory position, it entails a lot more than you can imagine.

Dec 20, 2022

Start learning from the best minds now

  • Check your knowledge with quizzes
  • Pre-recorded certified courses
  • Study on different devices
  • Virtual classes/Live sessions
  • Pre-recorded Aviation management courses
  • Obtain Aeroclass Certificate
Get Started Today