How does the Aircraft Captain know about the Dangerous Goods on Board? Let's Talk About NOTOC

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EASAOnline looks at the Notification to Captain (NOTOC)

BEST Practice – Driven By IATA

Each airline is individually responsible for developing the procedures which should be followed to ensure that the Captain is fully informed at all times. A typical process involves the use of the Notification to Captain Document which is otherwise known as a NOTOC. IATA requires all of its member airlines to notify the flight deck crew (the pilot) anytime dangerous goods are to be loaded on board their flights. It is both a standard and a best practice procedure to ensure that on any flight the crew have full knowledge of what is being carried in the cargo compartments.

What is a Notification to Captain - NOTOC?
A NOTOC is a form used to notify the aircraft pilot of:

- What is the nature of the dangerous goods which are to be loaded, that is, the proper shipping name (the name by which we recognize the DG).

- What is the quantity of Dangerous Goods (DG) which is to be loaded onto the aircraft - how much dangerous goods are to be loaded or the total net quantity of DG.
- Where on the aircraft are the dangerous goods to be found (exact location) - this information should also include the specific identification of the location including, if appropriate, the bin, pallet, or Unit Load Device “ULD” location.

In addition, information concerning what to do in an emergency (including, for example, an in-flight emergency) should be included. This information should be available on board the aircraft and should be familiar to the flight deck crew.

Considering Operators' procedures for generation and delivery of the NOTOC
The operator should identify how long before departure the NOTOC should be presented to the Captain. This is to permit the Captain to accept, Veto or otherwise raise questions regarding the load. It is a normal procedure that the nominated traffic agent representing the operator will have the responsibility to deliver the NOTOC to the captain. This procedure should be acceptable to the operator. A typical procedure would require the NOTOC to be delivered at least 45 mins before departure.
Why would the Captain refuse Dangerous Goods?
A typical reason to reject or offload DG is that the NOTOC was not delivered to the Captain within the required time frame. Another could be that the copy provided was not the original copy. Alternatively, it is possible that the correct location within the aircraft has not been correctly notified within the NOTOC.

Dangerous Goods Awareness Training is offered by Sofema Aviation Services and is available online via our online training portal For additional information please email

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