October 28, 2014: Second Meeting Held on Lithium Batteries

The second ICAO International Multidisciplinary Lithium Battery Transport Coordination Meeting was held to discuss additional measures that were needed to mitigate risks related to the transportation of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft. Participants of this meeting reviewed demonstrations on how reactions differed depending on the battery type, manufacturer and chemistry.

The DGP has proposed that the transport of lithium metal batteries in cargo be restricted to cargo aircraft only. The prohibition on the carraige of lithium metal batteries on passenger aircraft only applies to batteries that are shipped by themselves. It does not apply to lithium metal batteries that are packed with equipment or contained in equipment.

As a result of the first and second meetings there have been several changes to how lithium metal batteries are transported. Some of the changes are as follows:

-The ICAO Council has decided to prohibit the carriage of lithium metal batteries on their own as cargo on passenger aircraft

  • An explosion occurred in the two tests to date of lithium ion cells in fire resistant containers. There is a likelihood that the flammable gases that are emitted from venting lithium ion cells can collect and ignite, which could result in an explosion in such containers.

  • Lithium metal button cells with a lithium content that does not exceed 0.3 grams may not present a significant hazard and should have a separate UN classification to facilitate shipments.

  • Results of tests conducted have indicated that Class C cargo compartments provide appreciably better protection against the risks associated with a lithium battery fire than any other types of cargo compartments.

To read more about the results of the first and second meeting please visit the following sites:

IATA

IACO