The 36-State International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Governing Council has adopted a new aviation safety measure prohibiting, on an interim basis, all shipments of Lithium-ion batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft, effective 1 April 2016.
The ban pertains only to Lithium-ion batteries shipped as cargo on passenger aircraft and not to those contained in personal electronic devices carried by passengers or crew. It comes subsequent to extensive reviews undertaken by the ICAO Air Navigation Commission and the United Nation agency’s Dangerous Goods, Flight Operations, and Airworthiness panels. The ban does not apply to Lithium-ion batteries carried on freighters.
The prohibiting of Lithium-ion cargo shipments on passenger aircraft has been eagerly awaited by aircraft manufacturer and pilots associations, which have been the most vocal advocates for the new safety measure. A number of carriers have already instituted a ban on such cargo.
“Safety is always our most fundamental priority in international civil aviation,” stressed Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, ICAO Council president. “This interim prohibition will continue to be in force as separate work continues through ICAO on a new lithium battery packaging performance standard, currently expected by 2018.”