New guide promotes safe handling of lithium batteries on planes


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Montreal – The International Air Transport Association has published an online guidance document to promote the safe handling and transport of lithium batteries on planes.

IATA said the document is copyright-free, so airline operators may freely download and distribute the safety recommendations. Lithium batteries are used in many portable electronic devices such as laptop computers and mobile phones, but they may catch fire on cargo and passenger aircrafts.

At least three cargo aircraft crashes since 2006 have involved planes carrying lithium batteries. In its guidance document, IATA states that staff and flight crew safety training is a top priority.

Flight crews should follow standard operating procedures for smoke- or fire-related emergencies when responding to an event involving lithium batteries.

“Developed with the input of leading industry groups specialized in the area of handling potentially dangerous goods, the Lithium Battery Risk Mitigation Guidance for Operators represents an invaluable source of reference,” Kevin Hiatt, IATA senior vice president for safety and flight operations, said in a press release.