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Rules tightened for the carriage of lithium batteries on aircraft

"The movement of Lithium batteries by air remains a controversial subject."

Tuesday 9th February 2016

Many of you will be aware that the movement of Lithium batteries by air remains a controversial subject. Over time there have been increased restrictions due to the risks of transporting them. Fires in consignments containing lithium batteries have been implicated in the loss of three aircraft over the past 10 years resulting in some pilots and an airline pushing for a total ban.

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Please note this article is for guidance only and that readers should further investigate and ensure compliance with the regulations which are relatively complex.

Changes to the provisions for Lithium batteries: Effective 1 April 2016

  1. UN 3480, PI 965, Section IA and IB. Lithium ion cells and batteries must be offered for transport at a state of charge (SOC) not to exceed 30% of their rated capacity.
  2. Not more than one package prepared in accordance with Section II of PI965 may be placed into an over pack. When the package is placed in an overpack, the lithium battery handling label required by this packing instruction must either be clearly visible or the label must be affixed on the outside of the overpack and must be marked with the word “overpack”
  3. UN3090 PI 968, Section II. A shipper is not permitted to present for transport more than one package prepared according to Section II in any single consignment.
  4. Packages prepared according to Section II of PI 965 and PI 968 must be offered to the operator separately from other cargo and must not be loaded into a unit load device (ULD) before being offered to the operator
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