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Ask the Expert: An Interview with Glen Varley

Dangerous Goods | March 10, 2015

Author: Staff

Glen Varley is the Director of Dangerous Management Service Inc., founded in 2009. A longtime Subject Matter Expert for, Glen crafted our initial dangerous goods transport course and recurrent no-carry operator course.

What is your background in dangerous goods awareness and management?

I was hired as a Civil Aviation Dangerous Goods Inspector [by Transport Canada] in 1987. Prior to this, I served as a member of the RCMP for 14 years. I received numerous training courses dealing with the transportation of dangerous goods and related enforcement of the TDG Act and Regulations.

The regulations at the time I joined [Transport Canada] were only a year old, so everyone was learning. Through the years, I helped build the regional inspection and audit programs used by the aviation DG inspectors, and was deeply involved in rewriting the TDG Regulations that came into force in 1992. In 1997, I became the Ontario Regional Aviation Dangerous Goods Superintendent until I retired in 2009. Once retired, I was approached by a number of airlines and some clients in the manufacturing industry to consult for them. I opened Dangerous Goods Management Service Inc. later in 2009. As an inspector and then superintendent and now as [an owner of] a private business, I am a member of the ATAC Dangerous Goods committee. I am one of a few people in Canada certified as a “Transportation of Dangerous Goods Administrator” by the Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace (CCAA).

What appealed to you about’s online training model and content?’s attention to detail and product excellence was the primary catalyst for working with them to get my training programs out to the air operators that could use them. I haven’t been disappointed.

In general, what changes have you seen recently to regulations governing dangerous goods transport?

The regulations are slow to change, particularly for the air mode of transport. [In Canada] air operators are permitted to use the most current version of the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO TIs) where there are numerous changes that affect Canadian aviation, particularly with [respect to] the air transport of lithium batteries.

Why do you think regular training on dangerous goods recognition is so important?

Training is essential for reinforcing how sensitive aircraft are to having non-compliant dangerous goods on board. Proper training provides the latest safety information available.

Being aware of the hazards presented by the endless assortment of dangerous goods being handled, offered for transport, and transported by air requires current information, an interest in safety, and vigilance at all times.

Dangerous goods consignments can be transported safely by air if done correctly and in compliance with the regulations and company procedures. It is when the training and other risk mitigation processes and procedures are missing from the company’s dangerous goods program that a consignment of dangerous goods can end up in enforcement action by [regulators], or worse, cause an accident.

What is one key thing that you hope trainees will take away from your courses?

Trainees must be aware of their legal responsibilities with respect to taking the time to be sure they have done their part (due diligence) to ensure their safety, the safety of the aircraft and other property, and the safety of other people.

Do you have a question for Glen or another Subject Matter Expert? Email We’ll be answering questions in our bimonthly e-newsletter .

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