Release #: 19.06
February 27, 2019

ALPA Applauds DOT Efforts to Enhance Aviation Safety Through the Safe Shipment of Lithium Batteries

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), the world’s largest nongovernmental aviation safety organization, today commended the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for issuing an interim final rule that would enhance safety provisions for lithium batteries transported by aircraft in the United States.

“This rulemaking is a major enhancement to U.S. aviation safety and supports ALPA’s long-held position that the shipment of lithium-ion batteries by air poses a significant safety risk,” said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA president. “We are grateful for Secretary Chao’s and PHMSA’s leadership on this issue. ALPA remains committed to working with regulators to mitigate risks associated with the bulk shipment of lithium batteries by air and will continue to support all measures that ensure these batteries can be shipped safely.”

The interim final rule prohibits the transport of lithium-ion cells or batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft. In addition, the rulemaking requires lithium-ion cells and batteries to be shipped at not more than a 30 percent state of charge aboard cargo-only aircraft.

“We applaud PHMSA’s action that would take steps to increase the level of safety by harmonizing domestic rules with the International Civil Aviation Organization standards that apply to the shipment of lithium batteries on flights into and out of the United States. Today’s final rulemaking is a step in the right direction and will help to ensure that the flights within the United States have the same protections as international flights.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 61,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or