Release #: 16.03
February 09, 2016

ALPA Statement on Safe Shipment of Lithium Batteries by Air

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) today issued the following statement on why Congress must act now to protect air transportation by allowing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fully regulate the shipment of lithium batteries:

“H.R. 4441 fails to address the hazards posed by the transport of lithium batteries by air. As written, this bill would continue to allow the shipment of unlimited quantities of lithium batteries on passenger and cargo aircraft, which according to FAA testing, can cause fires current fire-suppression systems can’t extinguish.

“Transportation authorities around the world look to the United States as the leader in aviation safety. However, the 2012 FAA reauthorization contained language, Section 828, which precludes the agency from being able to regulate this issue. Today’s Safety Alert for Operators is a prime example of how the FAA must rely on the airlines to voluntarily comply with safe operating practices with respect to lithium battery shipments. It is imperative that Congress repeal Section 828 and give our country the ability to once again lead the world in advancing aviation safety.

“ALPA is calling for all shipments of lithium batteries to be fully regulated as outlined in dangerous goods standards and regulations, to require labeling, quantity limits, crew notification, and packaging standards so as to mitigate any risk a fire could pose to passengers, crewmembers, and the aircraft.

“It is important that the United States not delegate its responsibility as a sovereign nation to an international body. The United States should set the example and lead international efforts and immediately implement and enforce regulations that would ensure that lithium batteries can be shipped safely on both passenger and all-cargo aircraft.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 52,000 pilots at 30 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or