Airport official say no directive received regarding the banning of Lithium Batteries


Sydney Charles, Operations Manager at the Point Salines International Airport says that Grenada is yet to receive directive from the U S Transportation Department Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration about the banning of Lithium batteries from checked baggage.
“We receive no directive, no instructions about implementation of this new regulation so we cannot advise passengers about it we are not aware about it,” Charles said on Tuesday following inquires about passengers’ compliance to the new regulation. “We cannot put up any sign neither can we warn passengers because we don’t about it,” he said while promising to make inquiries about the rule.
The international rule which became effective as of January 01st 2008 is intended to lessen the risk of lithium battery fires on airplanes. According to a statement from the US Transportation Department passengers to US airports will no longer be allowed to pack loose lithium batteries in checked luggage but instead will be required to hold them in carry-on baggage, packed in plastic bags.
The new regulation doesn’t apply to lithium batteries that are already installed in electronic devices, such as laptops, cell phones, and cameras. Those can be checked in. Additionally, only two spare rechargeable lithium batteries will be allowed on airplanes per passenger in carry-on bags.
The administration is treating lithium batteries as hazardous materials since they’re known for overheating and catching fire in some conditions. Tests conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration show that aircraft cargo fire suppression systems on airplanes are incapable of containing fires caused by non rechargeable lithium batteries packaged in bulk quantities.
A small fire source is enough to ignite a lithium battery. The outer plastic coating can melt easily and fuse neighboring batteries together to increase the intensity of the fire, according to a June 2004 report published by the Office of Aviation Research.
In a situation where a lithium battery ignites in carry-on baggage, flight crews can better monitor the fire since they have access to fire extinguishers. There have been several instances in the past year that have raised red flags about lithium batteries.