18 Oct 2012

Air Force confirms airline not told of dangerous cargo

8:24 am on 18 October 2012

The Air Force says it did not tell Air New Zealand about potentially dangerous cargo carried on one of its planes because of internal misunderstandings.

It has confirmed that eight lots of dangerous goods were incorrectly identified over several years, including the placement of oxygen cylinders on an Air New Zealand flight to Canada.

In that incident, a flight to Vancouver in August 2009, the Air Force says cargo included two oxygen generators for emergency oxygen masks which contain chemicals that have to be handled correctly and are classified as dangerous cargo.

The Chief of the Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Peter Stockwell, says there was a court of inquiry into this incident and most of its recommendations have been implemented.

But he says Air New Zealand was never told dangerous goods had been carried on its plane, because different staff within the Air Force believed other staff had done this, so did not do so themselves.