DOT Issues Lithium Battery Safety Advisory to Increase Aviation Industry Awareness

Washington, D.C. – In its continuing effort to promote the safe transportation of lithium batteries, the Department of Transportation today issued a safety advisory in the Federal Register targeting shippers and carriers responsible for compliance with hazardous materials regulations covering both passenger and cargo aircraft.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, published the advisory to highlight recent aviation incidents involving lithium batteries, outline the current regulatory requirements for the safe transportation of lithium batteries, and announce that the two agencies are stepping up enforcement of the safety standards. The agencies are particularly concerned with undeclared shipments of lithium batteries and in bringing enforcement action against those responsible for offering them in transportation.

“This advisory puts all shippers on notice that non-compliance with the safety regulations is not acceptable,” said Secretary Ray LaHood. “I have asked the department’s enforcement personnel to increase their inspections and step up enforcement where necessary.”

Since 1991, more than 40 air transport-related incidents involving lithium batteries and devices powered by lithium batteries have been identified. Many of these incidents were directly related to the lack of awareness of the regulations, risks and required safety measures applicable to the shipment of lithium batteries.

Recommended battery safety practices and guidance are available at safetravel.dot.gov. For more detailed information on battery shipment requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations go to: www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat.

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