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Table of Contents


In emergency situations, depending on the nature of disaster, accessing program areas or communities can be a big challenge. Air transport is very common and convenient in these circumstances, but can be very expensive. Collaboration and participating in the cluster approach helps reduce over-head costs related to air operations for organisationsorganizations. Some common sources of air transport for humanitarian organisation organization in emergencies are:

Humanitarian organizations are regularly asked to organize chartering of long-range ad-hoc cargo flights and their downloading at the airport of entry. One of the main elements to be aware of is the requirement for a licensed freight forwarder. A freight forwarder can provide services at both departure and arrival airports, but during emergencies, these services are not necessarily available at the arrival airports (airports of entry). This topic will therefore also cover the more important issues relating to shipping of air cargo and assume that a Logistics officer is in charge to coordinate the arrival of the aircraft, even if a freight forwarder and/or a ground handling agent is involved.


The air operations POA should justify the need to charter air assets and provide a rationale for the decision to select one or other of the air operation operation concept (models (concept). The air operations POA should include the following:


Air Freight Service Agreements are agreements where no aircraft are contracted, but where space is made available for cargo in the air transport modean aircraft. Those agreements are generally based on a per metric ton/kilo basis directly and scheduled directly with scheduled commercial airlines or via freight forwarders. The authority to arrange air freight service agreements is generally delegated to the field. Due to complexity and cost, air freight service agreements should be checked to ensure the appropriate level of exposure to financial liabilities. Additionally, the reliability, legality, and safety of the chartered service should be examined. All these factors need to be reviewd to ensure air freight is the most appropriate form of transportation for the shipment in question.

Aircraft Charter Agreements are agreements where aircraft are chartered to perform air transport services and accomplish specific tasks in a specific environment during a specified period or time-frame. The authority to arrange for aircraft charter agreements is not delegated to the field due to the high liabilities high costs associated with those these types contract.

The authority to arrange air freight service agreements is generally delegated to the field due to the lower liabilities. However, generally, there needs to be a check on the requirement, confirming that the air freight is the most appropriate transport for the shipment in question. Additionally advice is required on the proposed contract liabilities and responsibilities to determine the level of exposure vis-à-vis benefits: e.g. contracting operators or aircraft that have been identified as unreliable or banned by some authorities.


Types of Aircraft Available for Cargo and Passenger

The type of aircraft selected will depend on the needs identified and the mode of distribution, for . For example, air-drops in flooded and conflict environments or passenger movement. The capacity of aircraft can vary depending on civilian or military configuration, altitude, strip condition, humidity and distance needed to be travelledrequire very different assets than passenger movements to an established airport.

Antonov 12-BP

Beech 1900-C1

Cessna 208-B Grand Caravan

Ilyushin II-76TD

Helicopter Mi8-MTV1

For additional information on aircraft: Aircraft Types (with pictures), Aircraft Characteristics 1 and 2 and 3 (hyperlinks on the numbers).

The most commonly  

Commonly used aircraft are:

  • Antonov 12-BP
  • Beech 1900-C1
  • Cessna 208-B Grand Caravan
  • Ilyushin II-76TD
  • Helicopter Mi8-MTV1

For additional information on aircraft:

Factors affecting the selection of an aircraft

  • type of product to be moved/ or number of passenger;
  • function for which the aircraft is required for airdrops, cargo movement, type of cargo, etc;
  • availability of aircraft and cargo ground handling equipment;
  • fuel availability (including fueling equipment);
  • airstrips and airports - condition, length, access, etcoperating hours etc;
  • government regulations;
  • weather;
  • donor requirements;
  • demand by potential users;
  • customs requirements;
  • type of distribution plan; and
  • available resources.

See Annexes for Air Operations Concept (Models) and  WFP Air Transport Manual on- Selecting the right aircraft.

(extracts from WFP Air Transport Manual, p 54-70).


In a humanitarian emergency, the availability of aviation fuel , Jet A1, is critical. Fuel provision plays an important part in logistics planning, particularly where large-scale air operations are envisaged. A fuel assessment should be undertaken as soon as possible. When it is evident that multiple actors will be operating out of the same airfields in the relief phase, and that fuel provision may pose a limiting factor, the appropriate research must be undertaken to ensure your logistics officer is thoroughly informed of the fuel situation, both present and projected, including available options. To permit rapid decision making in terms of selecting the air operations concept, general information should be collected on:


Normally, all international airports have provisions to refuel aircraft; however, demand may quickly exceed the supply and storage capacity. Local airport authorities should be able to indicate whether or not refuelling refueling could become a limiting factor. When in doubt, the chartering and flight planning process should take possible shortages into account - plan flights so that they do not have to refuel at the airport of entry.


In regional operations, the availability of fuel is a significant factor in selecting the operations' base. Where local authorities cannot guarantee an adequate fuel supply, the possibility of cooperating with other humanitarian actors, such as ICRC and/or IFRC in establishing or identifying alternate fuel services could be pursued. Where the operations base is a military base, fuel may be readily available but administrative problems may arise in terms of the ability to purchase the necessary quantities. Moreover, verify whether or not the airbase airport has the technical capacity to refuel long-range the required aircraft (e.g. , crafts with single-point refuelling) and pressure fueling vs. gravity feed etc.) and the appropriate fuel (Jet A1).

Fuel at delivery airfields

Where the If the delivery airfield is a rarely-used airfield, refuelling refueling may be a problem. The decision on whether or not to use these types of airfields is dependent on their distance from the operations' base and the type of aircraft to be used for regional flights. In some cases, fuel can be stored locally but, wherever possible, this should be undertaken in cooperation with professional operators.


  • search for a helipad in the crisis area with refuelling refueling capacity;
  • select a cargo pick-up point that is reachable by truck from which further dispatching by helicopter is possible. Helicopter pick-up points should be equipped with refuelling refueling services. If this is not the case the setting up of a fuel farm should be recommended in the report.


In an emergency situation where there is centralised centralized coordination of air transport through one entity, general procedures are put in place to facilitate efficient service provision. Depending on the situation the procedures may be more detailed and stringent.

The diagrams below depict the activity involved in an Air Coordination Centre (ACC) such as the one set up for Haiti after the earthquake in 2010. Typically, the ACC is established to manage the movement of transport aircraft into an airfield where the sheer volume of predicted aircraft movement is likely to overwhelm the airfield, render operations unsafe and/or limit its usefulness. In Haiti, pre-earthquake, the international airport in Port au Prince handled between 30 to 50 total aircraft movements (light aircraft, helicopters, MUNISTAH and international carriers). At the height of the operation the same airfield, using an ACC to manage parking slots and de-conflict the airspace was able to handle more than 500 aircraft movements in one day.

Slot Requests - essentially requests for permission to land and park for offloading - are applied for by the aircraft operators. The ACC using manual, MS Excel based solutions, or web-based tools ensure that there is adequate separation between flights, that there is sufficient space on the airfield to park and offload and that there is adequate ground handling equipment and staff to do the offloading. Priorities are determined by the humanitarian priorities. The ACC is manned by aviators drawn from civil aviation, the military (often the first responders) and humanitarian air transport management specialists. Allocated slots and flight details are communicated to air traffic control (ATC) and the civil aviation authorities responsible for the air space in which the airfield is located.


Key: ACC: Air Coordination Centre; ATC: Air Traffic Control; Rep: Representative; Slot Requests/Allocations - essentially requests for permission to land and park for offloading - are applied for by the aircraft operators.


Cargo Reservation Procedures

  • Confirmed reservation on schedules scheduled flights shall be issued on a first come, first serve basis;
  • in case of limited vacant space and in need of prioritisation, management will have to set the priorities;
  • the cargo aircraft schedule will be issued within an agreed period of time in advance;
  • the final cargo list will be distributed to all concerned at an agreed local time and day; and
  • the Cargo Movement Request form must be fully completed and submitted to the relevant officer/ reservation. The request shall include:
    • weight
    • volume
    • dimensions
    • type of packing
    • number of items
    • contact details
                        *(Current and accurate information is essential)
  • cargo reservation can normally be made in person, by email or fax;
  • inform customers regarding the air service at the time of cargo reservation and on request in accordance with the Customer Service guidance;
  • commitments: each person requesting cargo space should be aware of their responsibility of compliance to the country customs and transport arrangements at both departure and arrival points;
  • timely notification of customers of known delays, change of cargo schedule or cancellations;
  • the reservation office must offer timely notification of the status of the cargo reservation;
  • the cargo should be delivered to the dispatch office or airport cargo office an agreed number of days before departure. It needs to be in accordance with the request and supporting paperwork and be properly packed. It will only be accepted if the delivering person is a known or approved point of contact;
  • special rules and procedures apply when cargo contains dangerous goods items. If the goods are shippable in accordance with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, the Shipper’s Declaration specifying type of dangerous goods and additional details needs to be submitted to the Cargo Reservation Office.
  • pouches with important official documents/mail/letters should be sealed and not weigh more than the restricted weight. The measurements should not be more than what is officially provided, and must be sealed and signed by the delivery officer. No currency, contraband or dangerous cargo, solid items or ornaments are to be placed in the pouches.
  • the logistician should verify rules for cancellation of cargo reservations and the condition of cancellation, i.e. fee or penalty.


It is important to ensure that shipments are properly labelled and bear and contain the full style address of the consignee. Consignments are often sent through transit hubs or air cargo platforms, where large amounts of cargo are handled. Special handling signs like fragile or up/down, protect the cargo and must be clearly visible from at least two sides of the package. Besides the name and address of the consignee, the goods should be marked with the commodity tracking number and the description of the goods.


  • ensure that the articles or substances are not forbidden for transport by air;
  • determine tracking number, proper shipping name, class or division followed by the subsidiary risk (where applicable);
  • ensure that the packing requirements relevant to the article or substance are met;
  • ensure the proper marking and labelling of each package of dangerous goods;
  • the crew reserve the right to refuse any dangerous goods that are not declared on the dangerous goods transport document; and
  • ''Shipper's Declaration'' which includes proper shipping name, class/division, packing group, number of packages, net quantity and any other applicable information.
  • Some countries over flight clearances can change if there is hazardous material on the aircraft Early communication is essential

It is possible that humanitarian organizations did already for humanitarian organizations to negotiate facilitation measures with the host government Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the import of humanitarian commodities in the affected country. Facilitation into a country affected by a humanitarian emergency. Facilitation measures involve the application of simplified customs procedures in order to speed up the delivery of international humanitarian assistance, including deliveries provided by military, civil defence and civil protection assets. Despite the existence of numerous international agreements few countries have ratified them, thus procedures for obtaining duty and tax free waivers vary from country to country. Furthermore, despite the existence of facilitation measures, normal import procedures may continue to apply.

The standard procedures for completing the necessary documents for goods transported by air are discussed in Chapter 7.4 but local customs may accept the temporary use of simplified procedures. Facilitation measures are granted only where humanitarian organizations comply with import procedures. Therefore, the TST the organization must take note of the local procedures and ensure that all concerned parties are informed. This is to ensure that consignors and carriers prepare the necessary documents for importing humanitarian commodities. If a logistics cluster has been activated further customs information can be found on the Logistics Cluster website


If cargo belonging to another organization has to be transported, the client agency must deliver the cargo to the agreed-to freight forwarder for proper identification, documentation and manifestation.

Only cargo properly labelled labeled and delivered to the chartered aircraft shall be accepted.


Generic Passenger Check-In Procedures

  • Passenger check-in is carried out at the airport, unless passengers have been informed otherwise.
  • Check-in deadlines may vary from station to station due to local conditions. The check-in normally opens one hour before scheduled departure and closes 30 minutes prior to departure.
  • The passenger lists and tickets need to be ready before start of check-in.
  • Passengers travelling on a chartered aircraft must carry valid travel documents. It is the passenger’s responsibility to hold necessary travel documents required for the whole journey including transfer stations and final destination.
  • Travel document are documents the passenger need for his / her journey:
    • organisation organization official ID card
    • ticket
    • security clearance (if required)
    • passport and visa (if required)
  • The passenger must be present during check-in to ensure that the documents belong to the travellertraveler.
  • When the passenger arrives at the check-in counter with the ticket, please check the following:
    • flight number
    • date
    • routing
    • ticket expiry date
    • name
    • valid organisational organizational photo ID card
  • Passenger bag weights and dimensions should be checked. In some situations excessive baggage can impact aircraft performance. 
  • Check passport/ID’s expiry date, photo in ID/passport to correspond with the holder presenting the ID and name in ID to correspond with name in ticket.
  • Issue boarding pass entitling the passenger to enter the aircraft. Seating is on the basis of free seating unless otherwise advised by the flight crew.
  • Confirmed passengers arriving after closing time may loose the right to their seat as stand-by passengers will be confirmed after deadline of check-in.
  • Stand-by passengers will be allocated a seat on first come first served basis. The first stand-by passenger arriving at the airport will be considered the number one on the stand-by list.
  • Passengers arriving after deadline might be accepted on-board provided this poses no threat to flight safety or on-time performance/departure. This will be at the discretion of the flight coordinator.
  • No passengers are allowed on-board without a ticket, this concerns all passenger categories.

Image Removed

Diagram 2: General procedures passenger movement – necessary documentation.

See See: Passenger Movement Request form in Annexes.

Planning and Coordinating Air Transport in Emergencies

Passenger and cargo movement must be carefully planned and coordinated to maximise maximize the limited available capacity available and ensure that movement costs are not unnecessarily high due to flights not making full loads.The use of aircraft for cargo and passenger movement is prevalent in situations where road infrastructure is badly damaged and where sea or water transport is not strategic and does not enable access to communities affectedbeing fully loaded.

Aircraft are primarily used in situations where weak infrastructure, poor security, or lack of water access inhibits other modes of transportation.

In sudden on-set emergencies such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, humanitarian organisations prioritise organizations prioritize speed over cost in order to save lives. Without coordination, organisations organizations may inadvertently respond to the same needs, duplicate efforts, compete for limited resources and transport assets and thereby drive up transport costs. In response to such challenges the Logistics Cluster encourages humanitarian logisticians to collaborate and coordinate in emergencies to eliminate duplication.


  • reduced overheads;
  • access to a wider area as a result of special permissions centrally coordinated;
  • more efficient utilization of the aircraft – less down time, always fully loaded, etc.; and
  • better usage of “on the ground” labourers – on/off loading, security staff, etc.


  • coordinated land transport to and from the airfields;
  • fewer administration procedures for each participant;
  • increased information sharing – air field quality, ware houses warehouses etc.;
  • cost efficient use of:
    • labourers
    • fuel
    • warehouses
    • security
  • enables those organisations organizations that are unable to charter an aircraft, for whatever reason, to operate at reasonable cost.

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Diagram 3: Air distribution cargo in crisis region


Different air operations concepts can facilitate air coordination. Air Operations Concept (Models) The picture below illustrates air distribution of cargo into a crisis region.


Image Added



Air Operations in Emergencies


CEB/2002/5, June 8 October 2002, paragraph 23 and CEB/2003/3, June 2003, paragraph 13.

With the introduction of the Cluster Approach in 2005, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee established nine global clusters, each with a designated global lead organisation; WFP is the designated global lead of the Logistics Cluster.

Global Logistics Cluster/ UNHAS relationship

UNHAS's relationship with the Logistics Cluster lead agency is supportive; when the Logistics Cluster is activated in the case of a major humanitarian operation, the Logistics Cluster helps organisations to define logistical gaps to be filled. As such, UNHAS is a tool of the logistics cluster lead agency and organisations organizations participating in the logistics cluster. However, UNHAS does not report to the Logistics Cluster; once an individual UNHAS is established in the field, the RC/HC Humanitarian Coordinator (HC)/ Regional Coordinator(RC) will set up a Users' Group Committee (UGC) in the country, consisting of representatives of NGOs and United Nations system organizations to give guidance on the management of air services. Generally, the RC/HC is designated as its chairperson. When the RC/HC is not the chairperson, he/she is kept informed of the outcomes of the UGC by the Chief Air Transport Officer (CATO).


WFP manages the United Nations Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS), to serve and provide the Humanitarian Community with safe and reliable air transport assets during humanitarian emergencies. UNHAS operations are launched upon either a request from the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) or by the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) to WFP to set-up and manage a common air service in a specific country on behalf of the humanitarian communitythe WFP.

An assessment of the possibilities to launch the requested air services is done by WFP and the assessment report is presented to the HCT/Humanitarian Coordinator for their decision.

The assessment reports are inclusive ofinclude:

  • an evaluation of the transport requirement with the expected passengers and cargo;
  • an overview of the current existing air service providers operating in the area;
  • a gap analysis;
  • a technical feasibility study inclusive of the National Civil Aviation Authorities rules and regulations;
  • a risk assessment and threat analysis;
  • the initial donor response to the proposals.


WFP has the mandate to manage air services for and on behalf of the humanitarian community. The

Which enables the possibility of the initial funds for air service operations may to be drawn from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).


Each UNHAS operation has a user group agreed upon exit strategy that will be included in all special operation documentation. UNHAS operations are terminated either because of greatly reduced air transport requirements, or due to the emergence of a safe and reliable local air carrier, resumption of road transport, improvement in security situation, or regrettably, due to the lack of funding which obliges WFP to reduce and, eventually, close down the common air service if no donor is willing to continue funding this particular UNHAS operation.

Logistics Officer Responsibilities


At the airport of entry, the consignee is represented by the Logistics Officer (Log Off) . The Log Off is given necessary assistance or support who is supported by the Country Office (CO)/National Office (NO). The responsibilities can be discharged to ground handling agents or clearing agents, but the Log Off should monitor their activities. The paragraphs below summarise summarize the most important actions , including those which have to be taken either by the Log Off, the ground handling agents or clearing agents. In addition, it   It should be taken into account that other actors such as the airport emergency team (AET) and/or donated ground handling teams may be involved in the operation.


If fuel is available, have any arrangements been made with one of the fuel companies? If no, take the necessary actions on refuelling refueling and invoicing modalities. Note that the carrier has to pay for the fuel but if the fuel company finds the carrier not credit-worthy, a local arrangement can be made. Such an eventuality should be included in the contract.


Some carriers have a strategy to refuel en route at cheaper refuelling refueling points and should be allowed to do so, providing the flight schedule is not jeopardisedjeopardized.

Facilitation Measures

Verify whether facilitation measures on import taxes, VAT, overflight over flight taxes, landing taxes and parking fees have been granted. If this is not the case, inform the CO/NO and advise to contact the national authorities. Waivers on landing taxes and parking fees can be directly negotiated with the airport authorities who point the Log Off to the relevant ministry dealing waivers. Facilitation measures should be approved before arrival of the aircraft.


  • If a freight forwarder has been contracted to ship the commodities from the point of departure to the consignee, ground handling and customs clearance is the responsibility of the freight forwarder. In this case, the Log Off shall not be involved in the contracting but the Log Off shall monitor the performance of the freight forwarder.
  • Without the involvement of a Freight Forwarder, the Log Off shall be responsible for organising organizing the unloading of the aircraft. One of the first steps is to check whether a ground handling agent is available with the necessary equipment to unload the aircraft. If it is the case, check their abilities and credibility. If reliable, advise the Logistics Coordinator to make a contractual arrangement, preferably by using the IATA SGHA.
  • If no commercial capabilities are available, verify other options. These can consist of military unloading teams and/or airport emergency teams (AET), as was the case during the Tsunami in 2004-5.
  • Normally, the task of a military ground handling team will be limited to unloading the aircraft. Further actions will be required to clear the ramp and to transport the commodities to the transit storage for customs clearance. This can be done by a clearing agent. If no such clearing agent is available, transport should be organised organized locally, possibly by the CO/NO.
  • If no ground handling or other support teams are available, the aircraft may have to be unloaded manually. If this is the case, the CO/NO should be invited to provide the necessary manpower. In addition, the charterer, consignor and the carrier should be informed about the absence of unloading equipment.
  • The Log Off should receive a copy of the shipping documents as soon as available. The documents are verified and copied to those concerned, including the freight forwarder and clearing agent (if applicable). In case of shortcoming, the Log Off shall ask the consignor to correct or complement the documents. In case of dangerous cargo, the Log Off informs the ground handling agent or the team which takes care of the unloading. Details of available aircraft ground handling equipment should be confirmed.

Transit Storage

The purpose of transit storage is to keep the consignment in a safe place until the customs release the commodities.

The Log Off should verify whether transit storage is required and available. If no arrangements have been made and indications are that problems may arise, take the necessary actions as discussed in . If required, ask support of the CO/NO.


If no such system is in place, discuss the clearing modalities and verify whether the customs are aware of any facilitation measures. The Log Off should stay on good terms with the customs to ensure that the commodities are cleared the cargo is cleared without delay.


The Log Off verifies the application of security measures at the airport. Normally, security controls should be established to limit the access to restricted areas. Such areas normally include the ramp, the passenger departure areas between the screening points and the aircraft, the baggage make-up areas, cargo sheds, mail centrescenters, airside cleaning and catering premises.

If security control systems are in place, the Log Off should obtain a permit and ensure that all CO/NO personnel involved in the aircraft unloading activities obtain the necessary authorisation authorization to enter the restricted area, if required. Communicate early with the airport to ensure any required training is scheduled and documented for access to the restricted areas.

If no security control system is in place, the Log Off will take measures to prevent unauthorised unauthorized access to aircraft and consignments.


As soon as general data on chartering and flight planning are available, the Log Off takes the Off should take the necessary steps to obtain a slot time and a parking space. The Log Off should take note of the coordinates of the most important actors, being the charterer, the consignor, the operator (carrier) and the consignee. As soon as  If a slot time has been assigned and/or confirmed by the airport authorities, the Log Off will inform all concerned. This is also the case if any special flight planning or ATC procedures apply i.e. it is helpful that the Pilot in Command (PiC) mentions “Humanitarian Flight”, under item 18 “Other Information” of the flight plan.

The Log Off should receive the confirmed “stimated “Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) as soon as the aircraft is airborne. He/she informs all concerned (freight forwarder, ground handling/unloading team, clearing agent, and refuelling agent) and verifies with the ATC whether a flight-plan has been received. If unloading is done manually, the CO/NO should be informed of the time at which the unloading personnel should be available. Depending on ATC capabilities a phone call from the departure airport, when the aircraft takes off, will often be the most reliable method to determine the arrival time. If coordinated, the aircraft can often radio the arrival coordinator when they are 15-30 minutes from landing to ensure a smooth turn around of cargo.

Aircraft Arrival

At the arrival of the aircraft, the Log Off verifies all cargo documents and oversees the unloading of the aircraft.

Refuelling is the responsibility of the PiC, but special caution should be taken if unloading is still in progress. A fire-fighting crew and/or equipment should be readily available to intervene. Many airports do not allow passengers on the airplane during refueling and this can cause delays if not properly coordinated.

Once unloaded, the consignment should immediately be evacuated from the ramp and handed over to the proper entity for customs clearance. The Log Off shall make sure that the customs receive all required documents, possibly through the freight forwarder, or the clearing agent.

The Log Off monitors the customs clearance process and makes sure that he/she is available to answer possible questions or provide supplementary information, if required. The Log Off makes sure that trucks are available transportation is available for transporting the commodities to the relevant warehouse, once released by the customs.

The Log Off shall file all customs documents, including cargo manifests, in order to be able to trace and justify the movement of goods, if required.


The Log Off is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the arrival, handling and unloading of long range cargo aircraft carrying humanitarian commodities. In addition, the Log Off shall take the necessary actions for transit storage and pursuing the onward transport of the commodities.


The Log Off coordinates the arrival and handling of the cargo aircraft with the local airfield authorities and informs all concerned on concerned of the aircraft operations procedures at the staging base. These include slot allocation, aircraft handling, unloading, refuellingrefueling, storage, and further forwarding of the cargo. The Log Off acts as follows:


The Log Off coordinates the scheduling of the aircraft with the carriers and Log Off at the relevant destination airfields and makes airfields making sure that the right commodities are shipped to the right destination with proper documentation;


  • As soon as the commodities have been received by the consignee, the Log Off will complete the goods received note and sent send back to the consignor, copy to the charterer.
  • If there are any claims about the conditions of the goods, or in the case of serious damage, the Log Off will try to find out how the damage occurred. If it appears that the carrier could be blamed, the PiC will be informed. Damage can also occur during the unloading of the aircraft and it should be decided whether further investigation is required. The Log Off should tick the appropriate box in the goods received note and inform the chartering unit and the consigner of the occurrence.


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the global trade organisation of the air transport companies, representing 94 percent of international scheduled air traffic. IATA publishes The Air Cargo Tariff (TACT), a manual containing relevant information regarding the transport by air such as rates and tariffs, airport facilities, etc. The TACT is a working tool for IATA agents when processing international air shipments and all carriers and freight forwarders should use the latest edition as reference manual. Another important publication published by IATA is The dangerous goods regulations (DGR), the rules applied rules used by airlines for the transport by air of dangerous and restricted cargo. The packaging, labelling and the establishment of the dangerous goods declaration must be in conformity with the DGR and the acceptance by the airlines of DGR goods is subject to full compliance.


Aircraft are the fastest, most reliable means of transport, but are expensive and should be considered only as a last resort. That is in cases when supplies are urgently needed in a location where no other solution is feasible due to limited time frame for intervention, lack of infrastructure for surface transport, or a high level of insecurity.

In emergencies, airlifting may be used as an initial response to the situation pending establishment of a surface pipeline. However in cases where surface pipeline is impossible to achieve, the highly expensive emergency airlift operation can be transformed into a long-term relatively cost-efficient air operation. In the initial preparation, the distinction between cargo flights and passenger flights if needed is essential, as the support is quite different in nature.

When opting for air transport the organisation must recognise that aircraft require extensive and carefully organized ground support in their area of operation. Information should be obtained from civil aviation authorities, airport managers, or any other sources within the aviation industry and ensures that the staff designated to manage the operation are qualified and have the right skills.


  • WFP Air Transport Manual Version 1.1
  • IASC Guidance note