The featured speaker at the October 24 NEOCHMM meeting was Jim Chambers who is the current Chapter Secretary. Jim formerly worked at FedEx for 19 years as a Dangerous Goods Specialist. He shared some of his knowledge and experiences regarding Dangerous Goods transportation via cargo aircraft.

Dangerous good is the name the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) uses for what is called a hazardous material by the Department of Transportation (DOT). No matter what they are called, dangerous goods and hazardous materials must be properly identified, packaged, labeled, marked, manifested, and loaded into any transport vehicle. This is particularly important for dangerous goods being shipped by air since there is no place for an aircraft to pull over and park in the sky in the event of an adverse hazmat incident.

All packages are carefully inspected using comprehensive checklists before being loaded onto an aircraft. They are either placed into unit load devices or secured on pallets and are securely anchored to prevent shifting during flight. Depending on the hazard classes, packages are placed within certain zones within the aircraft to separate incompatible materials from each other. Magnetized materials that can interfere with the aircraft’s navigation equipment are loaded in the rear of the aircraft.

Some of the dangerous goods Jim encountered over the years that some people don’t think about as being dangerous goods when shipped are safety matches, ammunition, loaded firearms, liquor, electronics powered by lithium batteries, and portable generators, just to name a few.

Jim said that any package with a questionable odor coming into a shipping facility has a good chance of being “kicked” or rejected. His advice is not to store any boxes used for shipping in chemical process areas where they can absorb and retain odors.

NEOCHMM thanks Jim for presenting this topic at the meeting and for his dedication as a Board officer.