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IATA, ICAO Collaborate On Safe Air Transport of Dangerous Goods

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) strengthened their collaboration on global safety standards for air transport of dangerous goods. This enhanced cooperation was affirmed at the IATA’s headquarters in Geneva. ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar visited IATA, focusing on amplifying synergy between both entities.

Air cargo
Loading cargo into the aircraft before departure. iStockphoto Credit: Maria Kray

Since 1956, IATA has pioneered setting guidelines for air transportation of hazardous materials, consistently refining standards to bolster aviation safety. A significant milestone occurred with the enforcement of ICAO Annex 18 in January 1984. This Annex lays down comprehensive protocols for the international movement of dangerous goods.

For a more in-depth directive, ICAO’s Technical Instructions For The Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air elaborate on Annex 18’s basic tenets. These instructions serve as a detailed manual for safe global air transport of dangerous goods. They also offer governments guidance for inspections and regulatory oversight.

Dangerous Goods Regulation for Air Transport

Using the Technical Instructions formulated via ICAO’s governmental consensus, IATA collaborates with aviation stakeholders. They create practical resources and operational guidelines—the Dangerous Goods Regulations. These regulations are the cornerstone for safe handling practices across the supply chain. They benefit manufacturers, shippers, airlines, freight forwarders, and ground services. The regulations encompass everything from airline-specific requirements to essential guidelines and support documents. In this way, they facilitate a uniform and safe protocol for managing dangerous goods on aircraft.

IATA’s Director General, Willie Walsh, stressed compliance with international standards to ensure the safe transport of dangerous goods.

“The safe carriage of dangerous goods has become common practice, thanks to the strict adherence to global standards and guidelines. Today’s agreement ensures that dangerous goods will continue to be handled according to the highest globally applicable standards. To this effect, IATA will continue its advocacy work with key stakeholders to maintain a globally aligned, and practically focused approach to the regulated transport of dangerous goods. This will lead to more efficient and robust supply chains whilst upholding aviation’s number one priority of safety”, Walsh said.

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