GUIDELINES FOR AIR TRAVEL WITH AN ARVA REACTOR AIRBAG BACKPACK
Officially considered dangerous goods by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Reactor pressurized gas canisters can be shipped by plane. IATA has more than 290 member airlines from around the world and authorizes the transport of avalanche rescue kits that comply with specific conditions and regulations. For more detailed information, go to the IATA website: https://www.iata.org/about/members/Pages/airline-list.aspx?All=true .
Here is an excerpt from IATA regulations for passenger transport of dangerous goods:
« Avalanche rescue backpack
One (1) per person, containing a cartridge of compressed gas in Div. 2.2. May also be equipped with a pyrotechnic trigger mechanism containing no more than 200 mg net of Div. 1.4S. The backpack must be packed in such a manner that it cannot be accidentally activated. The airbags within the backpacks must be fitted with pressure relief valves.
The approval of the operator is required: YES
Permitted in or as checked baggage: YES
Permitted in or as carry-on baggage: YES“
Note: All airlines are free to apply stricter rules and regulations and have the right to refuse carrying gas cylinders on their airplanes, even if the company is an IATA member.
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS WHEN PREPARING FOR A TRIP
1) I AM NOT TRAVELING TO OR THROUGH THE UNITED STATES
Our recommendations when traveling with your Reactor avalanche airbag backpack:
• Contact the airline before booking your tickets and provide them with the technical notice describing the contents of the Reactor gas canister as well as the excerpt from table 2.3 of the official IATA dangerous goods document (all documents are available for download on this page).
• Based on the airline you decide to travel with, ask them if they prefer you travel with your avalanche rescue gear as check-in luggage or as a carry-on item.
• Ideally, just to be safe, ask for written authorization from the airline.
• The canister should be unscrewed from the Reactor system, with the safety cap firmly screwed on tight to avoid accidently triggering the system.
• Make 3 printouts of the IATA document as well as the technical notice for the Reactor avalanche airbag backpack (available on this page).
• Attach a copy of each document to the canister.
• Keep a copy of both documents with you while traveling.
• Keep the third copy of both documents for the return trip.
2) I AM TRAVELING THROUGH, TO, OR WITHIN THE UNITED STATES
In the United States, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) bans all travel by plane with full canisters. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all. This ban applies to all flights passing through, departing from, and landing in the United States.
With this in mind, you have 4 options when planning to travel to the United States with an avalanche airbag backpack.
Option 1 : A canister exchange
Empty your canister (US canister) by triggering your Reactor airbag system to be able to pack the canister in your bags. The cap should be unscrewed to allow visual inspection by airport security personnel. Contact a shop at or near your destination to ensure that there are canisters available for exchange.
Option 2 : Refill the canister
As with the first option, travel with your Reactor avalanche airbag backpack and an empty refillable US canister. Find a refill center at or near your destination to refill your canister.
Option 3 : Rent a canister at your destination
Travel without packing a canister and contact a shop at your destination to rent a canister. Renting offers the advantage of not having to travel with a canister.
Option 4 : Have your canister delivered
You can order a canister through us.arva-equipment.com or through a partner shop and have it delivered directly to your destination. You can also have your own canister delivered through a certified delivery service.
Option 5 : Send us your empty canister
Empty your canister and send it to us. We will send a full canister to the destination of your choice (this option takes 1 to 2 weeks).
Triggering your Reactor avalanche airbag to empty a canister also provides you with the chance to verify that your system functions properly and to service or make any adjustments if necessary.