International civil aviation organization (ICAO) announced on Monday, February 22, a temporary ban on the transportation of shipments of lithium-ion batteries in the cargo compartments of passenger aircraft, informs Agency Associated Press. The ban will come into force from 1 April.
In the message explains: the reason for the ban is the concern that batteries can spontaneously ignite and cause a fire.
It is emphasized that cargo planes such transportation may continue.
AP drew attention to the fact that ICAO decisions are not binding, but most countries typically perform them.
The President of ICAO Council Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said that «the temporary ban will remain in force until such time as within ICAO continues to work on new standards (fire-resistant) packaging shipments of lithium-ion batteries», which is expected to be completed by 2018, according to TASS.
Lithium-ion batteries are used in a huge number of devices – from cell phones and laptops to certain types of electric vehicles. The majority of batteries are transported by cargo ships, but about 30% are transported. According to American Federal office of civil aviation, airlines operating flights from the United States and host to the transportation of consignment of lithium-ion batteries, transported every year 26 million passengers.
Aviation services has long been known that batteries can ignite spontaneously, causing fires with a burning temperature of more than 593 degrees Celsius. It is close to the melting point of aluminum, which is used in the aircraft industry. Tests conducted by the Federal office of civil aviation USA, has shown that gases emitted by overheated batteries can accumulate in freight containers, causing explosions that can bring down the aviation system of suppression of fires, and the emergence of a strong uncontrolled fires.
After these tests, the organization representing manufacturers of aviation equipment, including the two largest in the world – Boeing and Airbus, said in 2015 that the liners are not designed to withstand fires of batches of lithium-ion batteries, and continued transport of such goods is «unacceptable risk».
Association of producers of batteries (The Rechargeable Battery Association), who spoke earlier against the ban, said in a statement that the industry is preparing for his compliance, but could lead to «serious disruption in supply chain», especially for batteries used in medical devices.
In addition to the ban on the carriage of batteries on passenger liners ICAO also approved a requirement that batteries sent on cargo planes were loaded with no more than 30%, and imposed new restrictions on small package of batteries.