Carrying Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT)
Apr 10, 2014 | Categories: Aviation Safety, Customer Care
The US Department of Transportation regulates certain materials as hazardous for transportation. Generally, these materials are referred to as “HAZMAT” or “Dangerous Goods.” Put simply, HAZMAT is a broad category of things that could cause harm to people if they are spilled, leaked or not otherwise carefully transported. When you combine the inherent dangers of HAZMAT and the normal risks of aviation, it is easy to see that these materials must be very carefully handled if they are to be transported by air.
Most private aviation companies do not carry hazardous materials. Moser Aviation, however, is certified by the FAA to carry HAZMAT aboard their aircraft. Although it is not a normal course of business for us, we feel it is important to give our customers the most flexibility that we can. Therefore, we’ve taken the extra time, and do the extra training required to be able to legally and safely carry HAZMAT aboard our airplanes. Rest assured though, if you’ve contracted for a flight with Moser Aviation, we are not carrying any HAZMAT aboard the aircraft unless you’ve specifically asked us to.
As we mentioned, the DOT defines what is HAZMAT in Title 49 of the USC. Generally, HAZMAT is anything that is flammable, explosive, poisonous, corrosive, infectious, or otherwise harmful to people or the environment if not handled carefully. Therefore, the DOT regulates its transportation to mitigate the risk of people being inadvertently exposed to something that will hurt them.
Starting in 2013, Moser Aviation became a HAZMAT authorized carrier, certified by the FAA to carry those materials. Not all hazmat is approved for carriage aboard aircraft, and even when it is, it is subject to certain restrictions.
When we do carry HAZMAT on our aircraft, we have to follow the DOT regulations that ensure the materials are properly declared, properly packaged and labeled and loaded onto the aircraft only in certain areas so as to limit the exposure that our crews or passengers may encounter during flight.
Even though we are certified to carry HAZMAT, we still must follow those rules, so it’s important for our charter passengers to know that they are required by law to tell us about any HAZMAT they may be carrying or may have in their baggage while on board our aircraft. Any cargo containing HAZMAT needs to be declared at least twenty four hours in advance of departure so that we have a chance to make sure it can be safely carried on our airplanes, and make the proper notifications to our crew.
Although most charter companies don’t do it, Moser took the time and makes the effort to be able to carry HAZMAT. In our mind, it is simply one more way of being able to say “YES” to our most important resource; our customers.