Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO) Label

The Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO) label must be included on every shipment of hazardous goods transported via cargo aircraft. It is a clear warning symbol displayed on packages traveling as air cargo that contain hazardous materials. 

The label's primary function is to clearly indicate that the packaged items to which it is affixed cannot be transported on regular passenger airlines, but only on cargo aircraft. The CAO label is unique in terms of color (bright orange) and design so that it can be easily recognized by airport and cargo handling staff with the words 'Cargo Aircraft Only' prominently displayed and the text ‘Forbidden in Passenger Aircraft’ at the bottom of the label.

The CAO label is part of the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) with Section 4.2 holding vital instructions on the proper procedures for preparing your shipment containing hazardous materials for air transportation.  

Legal Obligation

Using the CAO label correctly is not just a good practice, but also a legal obligation. Shippers who fail to comply with the proper use of the label may face penalties from regulatory bodies. These penalties can range from fines to the suspension of their shipping privileges. This highlights the importance of ensuring that dangerous goods are labeled correctly for transportation. 

Shipping Batteries

One particular case where the CAO label and regulations around it become significantly important is with the transportation of lithium batteries by aircraft.

How to Buy CAO Labels

CAO labels can be purchased from various online retailers.


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