The pressure cartridges used in avalanche airbags are classed as hazardous goods. Special regulations therefore apply if you wish to carry them with you on a flight. On the other hand, Mammut and Snowpulse airbag back packs, and the individual airbag systems, can be transported without any problem.
Transportation of the pressure cartridges is governed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
In normal circumstances, individuals are not permitted to carry hazardous goods on board an aircraft. However, airbag pressure cartridges are covered by a special IATA regulation permitting one cartridge per person. These special regulations are recorded in the IATA Table 2.3A.
Manual: Flying with an Avalanche Airbag
Refill Manual "Cartridge Refillable 207 Bar Alu"
Avalanche airbags and cartridges may be transported (Cartridge Non-Refillable 300 Bar Steel, Carbon Cartridge Non-Refillable 300 Bar, Cartridge Refillable 207 Bar Alu) subject to the following conditions:
One avalanche airbag and one cartridge per person
The pressure cartridge must be filled with Class 2.2 gas (all Mammut/Snowpulse cartridges are filled with Class 2.2 gas).
The pressure cartridge may not be transported separately from the avalanche airbag. The cartridge must be transported in the avalanche airbag compartment provided.
It must be packed in a manner that prevents accidental activation (cartridge must not be screwed into the airbag system).
The airbag must be fitted with a pressure release valve (all Mammut/Snowpulse airbag systems are fitted with a pressure release valve).
The airline›s approval is required.
The avalanche airbag and cartridge may be carried in hand baggage or as checked-in baggage.
Before booking your flight, inform the airline operator that you plan to take a cartridge on board. Send the airline the appropriate cartridge data sheet in advance, together with the extract from the IATA Table 2.3A.
We recommend transporting the avalanche airbag as checked-in baggage. Before doing this, place the cartridge in the avalanche airbag compartment provided. Screw for the protective cap onto the cartridge before transporting it.
Insert the cartridge with a printout of the cartridge data sheet and IATA-2.3A table.
Despite the IATA’s approval, any airline operator is entitled to refuse to transport the cartridge.
Info Sheets Cartridges
IATA 2.3A Passenger Provision Table (01.01.2019)
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not permit the carrying of filled pressure cartridges on flights arriving into or departing from the USA, or on internal flights within the USA. This regulation also applies to passengers transferring between flights in the USA. The TSA regulation can be found here.
Any cartridge carried into the USA must be completely discharged and the valve must be removed from the cartridge body for the security check.
The following cartridges cannot therefore be transported to the USA since after discharging they cannot be refilled locally in the USA:
Carbon Cartridge Non-Refillable 300 Bar
Cartridge Non-Refillable 300 Bar Steel
Customers with these cartridges are recommended to hire a cartridge locally during their stay in the USA.
The following cartridges can be discharged in preparation for transport to the USA and then refilled locally:
Cartridge Refillable 207 Bar Alu
Cartridge Refillable 207 Bar Alu empty
The cartridge can be refilled in diving shops and paintball venues. However, we recommend that you use an official Mammut/Snowpulse cartridge refilling station.
Instructions for discharging, removing the valve and refilling the "Cartridge Refillable 207 Bar Alu" can be found here:
Traveling with an airbag - Manual
Cartridge refilling manual