The rules about carrying ‘Dangerous Goods’ by air are the strictest across all types of transport. That’s because those goods can react badly with the conditions they are exposed to during a flight, and in the most serious case, could kill or injure people.
Common household products that could be dangerous in the air include matches, aerosols, flammable liquids, paints or solvents, poison, pesticides, batteries, power banks, and gas cylinders. They are specifically listed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in its Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air. Civil Aviation Rules in New Zealand require compliance with that document.
Some Dangerous Goods can be carried safely by air, if they are packed and transported in a certain way. Other articles and substances are prohibited on aircraft due to the risk they pose, and airlines may refuse to carry them, or impose their own additional requirements.
If you want to transport such goods by air, you must make sure they are correctly prepared and identified to the airline. Failing to comply with these requirements could be an offence and may result in prosecution.
Refer to the conditions of carriage of your airline, as they may impose special requirements or prohibit certain dangerous goods.
For general information on what you can take on the aeroplane, and where it can be carried, refer to the Dangerous Goods page on the Aviation Security Service website.
Advisory Circulars provide explanatory information and examples of how to comply with these rules.
Dangerous Goods Poster
Lithium batteries – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (PDF 255 KB) - Article from Vector magazine
ICAO Store - Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods By Air (Doc 9284)
IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations
If you have further questions, ask the team at DG@caa.govt.nz.