Advisory panel recommends tightening restrictions on shipments of lithium batteries on commercial aircraft.


New York (AirGuide Features - Inside Air Travel) Mon, Oct 13, 2014 - An advisory panel has recommended tightening restrictions on bulk shipments of lithium batteries via commercial aircraft, after a crash that pointed to the risks of the volatile batteries onboard aircraft. The group, which advises the ICAO, suggested among other measures that fire detection systems be reassessed to see if they respond quickly enough, and that bulk shipments of the batteries be limited in size and placed in cargo compartments with the best fire-suppression ability. It also recommended that aircraft manufacturers and regulators consider new aircraft designs that reduce fire risk from the batteries, which are used in a wide range of consumer electronics. The recommendations would require ICAO action to take effect, a process that could take years. The US Department of Transportation currently restricts shipments of lithium batteries by air and earlier this year tightened the regulations. The failure to contain fires caused by volatile lithium technology can lead to loss of control of a plane. In July 2010, a Boeing 747 cargo plane operated by UPS crashed in Dubai after a shipment of batteries...

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