The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), an agency of the United Nations, has placed an interim ban on the carriage of lithium-ion batteries on passenger aircraft, effective from April 2016. This replaces the rule that lithium-ion batteries must not be charged to more than 30% capacity.
Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, Council President of the ICAO, has explained that the temporary ban will be enforced until a new performance standard has been established for lithium battery packaging, estimated to be completed by 2018. The decision follows reviews conducted by the ICAO Air Navigation Commission and its Dangerous Goods, Flight Operations, and Airworthiness panels.
The ban is welcome news to pilots associations and aircraft manufacturers, who have advocated for new safety measures. The Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF), however, have expressed their disappointment, stating that the ban “does not address the wider problem of undeclared battery shipments or low-quality counterfeits”.