MONTREAL, Canada – The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) praises the Dangerous Goods Panel of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for committing to develop new packaging standards for lithium battery shipments on aircraft in order to protect the aircraft and all on board from the effects of a lithium battery fire.
Recognizing that packaging is an important piece in a multilayered approach to the safe transport of lithium batteries, IFALPA will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure the packaging standard is fully developed and implemented. We continue to support the recommendation that high-density shipments of lithium ion batteries not be carried until these standards are in place.
The panel will form a new working group to develop packaging standards with the goal of ensuring that any hazardous effects of a lithium battery fire are contained within the package. With this packaging standard in place, a fire in a lithium battery package would not propagate to other packages in a cargo compartment or endanger the aircraft.
First Officer Mark Rogers, chairman of IFALPA’s Dangerous Goods Committee, joined the ICAO panel this week along with representatives of the major aircraft manufacturers. The panel was presented with a recommendation that new packaging and shipping standards be created for shipments on both passenger and all-cargo aircraft, and IFALPA believes that high-density shipments of lithium ion batteries should not be carried aboard aircraft until such regulations are in place. We support strong action by the panel.