Aviation Logistics Knowledge Lecture – NOTOC

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Aviation Logistics Knowledge Lecture – NOTOC

Hello everyone, we are welcoming a new lecture.


Time flies, unknowingly, it has been almost two years since I wrote the official account. In the past two years, I have gained a lot of colleagues in the airlift industry, and many friends have added me on WeChat. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support. Your attention, forwarding and likes are my motivation (yes, please like three consecutive times.). I will continue to work hard and try to keep everyone able to acquire new knowledge. And this process is also a process of my own progress and consolidation of knowledge.


Without further ado, we are going to talk about NOTOC in this issue. First of all, everyone may have a headache when they see the title. What is NOTOC? What has it got to do with me? Well, this habit is very good, and we should start from the most fundamental and basic when looking at things. Then, as usual, let’s start with the noun explanation. NOTOC = Notification To Captain. Obviously, this is something for the captain to see. So what content will be put in NOTOC? Don’t worry, we will explain slowly.


First of all, since this is something for the captain to see, it really has little relationship with the agent, and of course there is no need for the agent to prepare. This is a document given to the captain by the airline or cargo terminal staff at the bottom of the plane. What is written above must be related to the goods.


Second, what will NOTOC write? When should NOTOC be used? Actually every time we have any special cargo on our flight, including but not limited to DG, VAL, PER, HUM, AVI, CAO, etc. For those who need to review these special goods, you can click here to see the article on special goods. No matter what special cargo, as long as it is not general cargo, you need to fill in NOTOC. Because the captain has the right to know what cargo is on the plane he is flying.

The captain is the ultimate person in charge of aircraft safety. During the flight, various unexpected situations may occur. If the captain cannot know in advance what cargo is on the aircraft, it may eventually lead to a large cup.

For example, if there is PER on the plane, the specified temperature can only be 2-8 degrees Celsius. If the captain does not know and adjusts the temperature to 18 degrees, the entire ticket of PER may be damaged, and the loss caused by this will be very troublesome.

Another example, if you are really unlucky, the engine of the plane catches fire, but a forced landing site can be found in time, and there are fire trucks waiting on the ground. But the plane was carrying Class 1 dangerous goods. If the captain didn’t notify the ground, or he didn’t inform the ground without his knowledge, then it would be troublesome, and it might explode before the plane ditched. Or after falling to the ground, firefighters use the wrong material to cool down and put out the fire. Well, the consequences are predictable.

Therefore, if there is special cargo on the flight, NOTOC must be written.

So now, let’s take a look at what NOTOC generally looks like.

Sample of a NOTOC

Sample of a NOTOC

As can be seen from the above figure, a NOTOC is not simple. Contains all the contents of all special cargo on board, so that the captain can see at a glance.

Don’t think this is something that can be done or not done. NOTOC is required by IATA. It’s just that each airline’s NOTOC can use its own form, and the process is also determined according to the airline’s own process. However, it is usually given to the captain 45-30 minutes before takeoff and the captain agrees to sign.

Then there is another question. After providing NOTOC, will the captain refuse to sign or not allow it to board? Guys guess.

The answer is definitely yes. Again, the captain is ultimately responsible for the safety of the flight. If the captain has even the slightest suspicion, then he has every right to pull any ticket. Even if it is not a special cargo captain has the power to pull it down. This is also a kind of last minute offload.

If the captain is serious, he should check the NOTOC ticket by ticket. Including whether the packaging of the goods is compliant, whether it is placed on the ULD written on the NOTOC, whether the ULD is arranged in the position written by the load master, and whether the description of the goods is consistent with that written on the NOTOC, etc. If he finds something wrong, he can pull it off immediately.

Therefore, the production of NOTOC also needs to be very rigorous, not just filled in casually, but must be based on the actual situation.

The picture above is a NOTOC used by an airline that is currently operating. Let’s take a look at what an online NOTOC looks like.

Sample of an online NOTOC

Sample of an online NOTOC

We can see that the NOTOC of each airline is slightly different. But why is it different? That’s because NOTOC is mandated by IATA, but there is no mandatory format. Because each airline has different procedures, different time on the ground, and of course the cultural differences of airlines in different countries, the format of NOTOC will be different. But if you look carefully, the content is actually the same, and the items that need to be included are also the same.

Alright, here we are for this issue. I hope everyone has a clearer understanding of NOTOC. See you next time.


NB: Karron is the owner of the “NatureCalls” Wechat Official Account.

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