This week, Samsung issued a detailed report regarding the issues associated with the lithium batteries for the Galaxy Note 7, the company’s smartphone that was recalled and ultimately canceled last year. The report came after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently banned passengers from carrying the phones on U.S. flights because of the dangers associated with overheating.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a final rule prohibiting battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices in checked baggage. In addition, the rule bans the charging of these devices (e.g., e-cigarettes, e-pipes, personal vaporizers, etc.) on board an aircraft.
By Capt. Tim Canoll
Even safer skies for airline passengers and air cargo shippers. That’s what the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization passed by the U.S. Senate (H.R. 636) means for air transportation in this country. While ALPA will continue to press Congress to do more to combat safety risks, such as inadequately regulated lithium battery shipments and fatigue among pilots who fly cargo, this Senate reauthorization is encouraging.
By ALPA Staff
Despite mounting evidence pointing to the hazards associated with the bulk shipment of lithium batteries, the United States still has work to do to ensure that they can be safely shipped on both passenger and all-cargo aircraft. Currently, the Senate is taking action on a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, and ALPA has worked tirelessly to ensure that this important legislation contains strong provisions on the safe transport of lithium batteries.
The international community recently agreed to new standards to improve lithium battery safety, and the International Civil Aviation Organization’s updated standards went into effect last week on April 1, 2016. These include a temporary ban on the shipment of lithium-ion batteries on passenger airliners until adequate safety regulations are in place, a ban on shipping lithium batteries with more than a 30 percent charge, and a prohibition on shipments of batteries packaged together undeclared as hazardous goods, a loophole known as “Section II overpack,” which has long been misused to get around required regulations to transport dangerous goods. ALPA has been advocating that the United States pursue full harmonization with all of those standards.
By Captain Scott Schwartz, ALPA Dangerous Goods Committee Chairman
For years, ALPA has been advancing awareness on the hazards associated with the bulk shipment of lithium batteries. Lithium batteries are more volatile than many goods currently classified and shipped as “dangerous goods,” and yet most shipments are excepted from the regulations associated with dangerous goods. Why?
Lithium batteries can self-ignite when damaged, defective, or exposed to a heat source. They also burn incredibly hot, and FAA testing has shown that fires involving lithium batteries are unresponsive to halon, the traditional extinguishing agent used aboard aircraft.
These dangers were highlighted last week when the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission concluded that “hover boards” are too dangerous and asked manufactures and sellers to take these items off the market.