PassengersSecurity inspectionsClasses of dangerous goods

Classes of dangerous goods

Passengers or crew members are not allowed to carry dangerous goods as or in baggage
or on their person.

This prohibition is based on international regulations which are applicable also in Finland. Those
regulations allow only a few exceptions (pdf) for passengers and crew members.

Most items of dangerous goods can be shipped as air cargo provided that regulations are strictly followed. However, the operator´s cargo department or a forwarding agent must be consulted first. Air transport of many dangerous goods, such as liquefied acetylene, selenium nitride and many explosives, is totally forbidden even as cargo.

Dangerous goods are divided into nine classes according to their properties. The classes are numbered from one to nine. The numerical order of the classes is not that of the degree of danger. Some classes (1, 2, 4, 5 and 6) are subdivided into divisions. Explosives, Class 1, are further divided into 13 compatibility groups which are identified by a capital letter (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, N or S) attached to the division number, e.g. 1.4S. The classification is based on model regulations produced by the United Nations for all transport modes, being thus similar for air, road, rail and sea transport. A substance can, according to its properties, be classified into one or more classes. The descriptions of the classes, as presented here, are not complete. Detailed classification criteria are presented in the international regulations (ICAO-TI).

Class 1 - Explosives

Division 1.1. Substances and articles which have a mass explosion hazard (a mass explosion is one which affects almost the entire load virtually instantaneously). powder, dynamite, TNT and rocket warheads.

Division 1.2. Substances and articles which have a projection hazard but not a mass explosion hazard. E.g. many types of ammunition, bombs and rockets.

Division 1.3. Substances and articles which have a fire hazard and either a minor blast hazard or a minor projection hazard or both, but not a mass explosion hazard. These explosives give rise to considerable radiant heat, or burn one after another, producing minor blast or projection effects or both. E.g. dry so-dium picramate, smokeless powder, many types of ammunition, bombs and rockets.

Division 1.4. Substances and articles which present no significant hazard. This division comprises sub-stances and articles which present only a small hazard in the event of ignition or initiation during trans-port. The effects are largely confined to the package and no projection of fragments of appreciable size or range is to be expected. An external fire must not cause virtually instantaneous explosion of almost the entire contents of the package.

Division 1.5. Very insensitive substances which have a mass explosion hazard. This division comprises substances which have a mass explosion hazard but are so insensitive that there is very little probability of initiation or of transition from burning to detonation under normal conditions of transport.

Division 1.6. Extremely insensitive articles which do not have a mass explosion hazard. This division comprises articles which contain only extremely insensitive detonating substances and which demon-strate a negligible probability of accidental initiation or propagation.

Class 2 - Gases

Division 2.1. Flammable gases. Any gas which is ignitable when mixed with air in certain mixture ratios. E.g. butane, hydrogen.

Division 2.2. Non-flammable, non-toxic gases. Gases which are transported at a pressure not less than 280 kPa at 20 Celsius degrees, or as refrigerated liquefied gases, and which are asphyxiant or oxidizing or do not come under the other divisions. E.g. carbon dioxide, neon, fire extinguishers, liquid nitrogen.

Division 2.3. Toxic gases. They are so toxic or corrosive as to pose a hazard to health. E.g. anhydrous ammonia, chlorine.

Class 3 - Flammable liquids

Any liquid the flash point of which is not more than 60.5 „aC, e.g. gasoline, many paints, alcohols. Also liquid desensitized explosives, with no explosive properties, are included in this class. Note: Flash point is not a temperature at which a liquid can ignite spontaneously. It is the lowest temperature of a liquid at which flam-mable vapour is given off in a test vessel in sufficient concentration to be ignited in air when exposed mo-mentarily to a source of ignition.

Class 4 - Flammable solids;

substances liable to spontaneous combustion; substances which, on contact with water, emit flammable gases

Division 4.1. Solids which are readily combustible, e.g. celluloid, or may cause or contribute to fire through friction, e.g. matches, or self-reactive substances, e.g. benzenesulphonyl hydrazide; Also solid desensitized explosives are included in this class.

Division 4.2. Substances liable to spontaneous combustion. Any substance which is liable to heating up or igniting in contact with air, e.g. white or yellow phosphorus or unstabilized fish scrap.

Division 4.3. Substances which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases. Dangerous when wet. When interacting with water these substances are liable to become spontaneously flammable or to give off flammable gases (decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen), e.g. calcium carbide or sodium.

Class 5 - Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides

Division 5.1. Oxidizing substances. Substances which may, by yielding oxygen, cause or contribute to the combustion of other material, e.g. ammonium nitrate fertilizer, calcium chlorate or chemical oxygen generators.

Division 5.2. Organic peroxides. Unstable organic materials that ignite readily or react dangerously with other substances. E.g. acetyl acetone peroxide or dicumyl peroxide.

Class 6 - Toxic and infectious substances

Division 6.1. Toxic substances. Liquid or solid substances that are dangerous if inhaled or swallowed or absorbed through the skin, e.g. arsenic, some disinfectants or most pesticides.

Division 6.2. Infectious substances. Substances known to contain, or reasonably expected to contain, pathogens. Pathogens are defined as micro-organisms (including bacteria, viruses, rickettsia, parasites, fungi) or recombinant micro-organisms (hybrid or mutant), that are known or reasonably expected to cause infectious disease in animals or humans.

Class 7 - Radioactive material

Any material containing radionuclides where both the activity concentration and the total activity in the con-signment exceed specified values. Radiation sources for industrial or medical purposes, e.g. cobalt-60, cae-sium-131 or iodine-132.

Class 8 - Corrosive substances

Substances which can cause visible damage to the skin or other living tissue or which can damage other cargo or the aircraft structure, e.g. battery acids, mercury.

Class 9 - Miscellaneous dangerous substances and articles

Substances and articles which, during air transport, present a danger not covered by other classes. Sub-stances that are transported or offered for transport in a liquid state at temperatures equal to or exceeding 100 Celsius degrees and below their flash point, or in a solid state at temperatures equal to or exceeding 240 Celsius degrees. Magnet-ized material. Any material which has narcotic, noxious or other properties such that extreme annoyance or discomfort could be caused to crew members so as to prevent the correct performance of assigned duties. E.g. internal combustion engines, life-saving appliances, battery-powered vehicles, asbestos, dry ice, envi-ronmentally hazardous substances, zinc dithionite.

For more information, please contact the Finnish Civil Aviation Authority's security department at the

For more information on the transportation of dangerous substances, please contact Finnish Civil Aviation Authority's Flight operations supervisor at the