For Immediate Release

October 8, 2010
Contact: FAA Office of Communications
Phone: 202-267-3883

WASHINGTON–The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today alerted operators to results of new research on the risks associated with transporting lithium batteries as cargo on aircraft and recommended actions air carriers can take to reduce those risks.

In a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO), the FAA summarized recent research which shows that lithium metal (non-rechargeable) and lithium-ion (rechargeable) batteries are highly flammable and capable of igniting during air transport under certain circumstances.  The research also indicates that Halon 1301, the suppression agent found in Class C cargo compartments, is ineffective in suppressing lithium metal battery fires.

The SAFO also lays out additional recommended procedures air carriers can institute when transporting lithium batteries.

The Safety Alert for Operators can be found here.