A United Nations panel is calling for tougher inspections and detailed labeling of air shipments of lithium batteries following two incidents in which aircraft were destroyed when freight shipments burst into flames.
Tougher safety tests of lithium-ion batteries that were implemented after Boeing Co.’s 787 was approved remain inadequate to ensure that the power packs won’t overheat in flight, a U.S. investigation has concluded.
Firefighters at Boston’s Logan International Airport opened the hatch of a burning Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner this week to encounter a hazard from something almost ubiquitous in modern life: lithium-based batteries.
Regulators are considering an about- face that would exempt U.S. cargo airlines from new international restrictions on shipping lithium batteries, which have been linked to three fires that destroyed aircraft.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is seeking comments on whether to align rules restricting lithium-battery shipments by air with United Nations standards, after companies including Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. opposed stricter U.S. regulation.
Airlines carrying lithium batteries should take precautions with the cargo after a United Parcel Service Inc. plane carrying a large quantity of the items caught fire and crashed, the Federal Aviation Administration said.