16 Mar 2015

Boeing To Ban Cargo Of Lithium Batteries On Passenger Flights.

Boeing Co. has recently announced that high-
density packages of lithium batteries present
fire risks and should not be carried on
passenger planes until safer methods for their
transport have been established.
This adds another call to the increasing
clamour to stop bulk shipments of lithium-ion
batteries on passenger planes.
Reuters recently quoted a Boeing statement as
saying that the risk is “continually increasing
(and) requires action to be taken.”
Boeing is part of an industry group including
other plane makers such as Bombardier Inc.
and Airbus Group NV that found existing
firefighting systems on airliners cannot “sup­
press or extinguish a fire involving significant
quantities of lithium batteries” thereby posing
an “unacceptable risk” for the industry.
The main firefighting chemical, Halon 1301, is
unable to stop fires from rechargeable lithium
ion or non-rechargeable lithium metal
batteries, the two main types of cells in
consumer devices, the industry group said.
Boeing also said it agrees with the
recommendations in the report by the
International Coordinating Council of
Aerospace Industry Associations and the
International Federation of Air Line Pilots’
The report is due to be considered in April
2015 by a working group of the United Nations
International Civil Aviation Organisation
(ICAO), a standards setting body.
ICAO said that to take effect, the
recommendations would need to be approved
by its dangerous goods panel in October 2015,
and then by a broader air safety council in
2016. If approved, they would be included in
the 2017-2018 edition of ICAO’s technical
instructions for dangerous goods transport.
The ICCAIA-IFALPA report recommends
banning shipments of high-density packages
of lithium-ion batteries and cells on passenger
aircraft until safer transport methods are im­
plemented; establishing appropriate
packaging and shipping requirements to carry
lithium ion batteries as cargo on passenger
aircraft; and establishing appropriate
packaging and shipping requirements to carry
lithium metal and lithium ion batteries as
cargo on freight aircraft.

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