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Dangerous Goods on Aircraft

– section 246D of the Crimes Act 1958
dangerous goods on aircraft

 

When someone carries or possesses dangerous goods on board an aircraft. When someone places dangerous goods on board an aircraft. The offence also applies to someone who delivers dangerous goods to someone else to place on board an aircraft.

Examples of Dangerous Goods on Aircraft
  • A woman carries a kitchen knife in her hand luggage as she boards an aircraft
  • A boy has a pocket knife in his jacket while on board an aircraft
  • A man delivers a gun to another man intending that the gun would be used to hijack an aircraft
What are some of the possible defences to a Dangerous Goods on Aircraft charge?
  • You did not possess the dangerous goods
  • The goods could not endanger the safety of an aircraft or persons on board an aircraft
  • The owner or operator of the aircraft knew about the nature of the goods and consented to the goods being brought on board
  • Permission was granted under the Air Navigation Regulations of the Commonwealth

There are other possible defences, depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged offending. Each matter is unique and requires an individual approach and strategy.

Questions in cases like this
  • Were the goods dangerous goods?
  • Did you intend for them to be on board a plane (did you forget that you had them with you)?

Maximum penalty and Court that deals with this charge

The maximum penalty for this offence is level 6 imprisonment (5 years).

This is a strictly indictable charge which means that your case must be heard in the County Court.

“Did you forget you had it on you?”
What is the legal definition of Dangerous Goods on Aircraft?

Possessing, carrying or placing dangerous goods on board an aircraft. Delivering dangerous goods to a person for the purpose of their being placed on board an aircraft.

Legislation

The section that covers tihs offence is section 246D of the Crimes Act 1958.1

What can you be sentenced to for this charge?

Your sentence will depend on the kind of dangerous good you possessed and what you intended to do with it. In the most severe circumstance, where someone has for example an explosive device in their possession on board an aircraft, they are likely to face imprisonment. In the least severe circumstance, where for example a person has deliberately hidden a sharp nail file or knitting needle in their luggage, a fine is more likely.


[1] Crimes Act 1958 – Section 246D

(1) Subject to this section any person who—
(a) carries or places dangerous goods on board an aircraft;
(b) delivers dangerous goods to a person for the purpose of their being placed on board an aircraft; or
(c) has dangerous goods in his possession on board an aircraft—
shall be guilty of an indictable offence and shall be liable to level 6 imprisonment (5 years maximum).
(2) This section does not apply—
(a) to or in relation to any act done with the consent of the owner or operator of the aircraft given with a knowledge of the nature of the goods concerned; or
(b) to or in relation to the carrying or placing of firearms or ammunition for firearms on board an aircraft with permission granted under the Air Navigation Regulations of the Commonwealth.
(3) In this section “dangerous goods” means—
(a) firearms, ammunition, weapons and explosive substances; and
(b) substances or things that, by reason of their nature or condition, may endanger the safety of an aircraft or of persons on board an aircraft.