'There continues to be work on developing a packaging standard that can be used to verify that the package is capable of containing a fire event'
Regulations need to stay one step ahead of the enforcement, as do regulators. David Brennan, Assistant Director Cargo Safety & Standards, IATA (International Air Transport Association), shares his insights on the areas that need work when it comes to risk mitigation and how new tools and processes are reshaping the industry standards for safety as part of our #SafetoFly series
How is IATA shaping regulations for the safe transport of lithium batteries to avoid any future untoward accidents and fire incidents on aircrafts? I understand that rules on carrying lithium batteries were updated this year, what are some salient points that could change things fundamentally for the industry at large?
We continue to look at methods that will mitigate the risks associated with the transport of lithium batteries. Where issues are identified we then look at if there is a need to modify the regulatory requirements or if there are other methods that could address the issue. There continues to be work on developing a packaging standard that can be used to verify that the package is capable of containing a fire event, although this work is taking some time to complete.
What are the overarching updates made to the transportation of lithium batteries and lithium-ion batteries on aircraft. What was the reason for the recent changes made, if so?
Effective 1 January 2022 the allowance for small packages of lithium cells or batteries that while restricted to a cargo aircraft were not subject to the normal controls for dangerous goods was removed from the IATA DGR. This exception was removed as the allowance for these packages to move through air transport without controls was seen as being inconsistent with the requirement that airlines must, through a safety risk assessment, have established appropriate controls to manage the risks associated with the loading and quantity of dangerous goods in aircraft cargo compartments.
More recently, CEVA Logistics became the first to receive IATA CEIV Lithium Battery certification. How many more such shippers/stakeholders have applied for the certification? Do you believe that this is a step in the right direction and should more shippers/ freight forwarders come forward to get certified and thereby ensure their commitment to safety?
CEIV Lithium Batteries is a certification programme designed to enable shippers and freight forwarders of lithium battery products to meet their safety obligation by complying with the applicable transport regulations. CEIV Lithium Battery supports companies to develop capacity and resources in handling and transporting lithium battery shipments in a safe and compliant manner.
The main objectives of the certification are:
-Ensure compliance with IATA DGR and LBSG as well as other pertinent national and international regulations and standards
-Reduce risks associated with transporting and handling of lithium battery shipments
-Increase confidence in industry stakeholders' operations
-Give visibility on best players when it comes to the transportation of lithium batteries
We launched the programme just a few months ago after a trail project with CEVA Logistics for their stations in Hong Kong and Amsterdam. Since then, we received applications from industry stakeholders that are interested in this certification form which some have already started the certification.
Going forward as we step into a new year, how can government authorities step up and proactively block rogue producers and manufacturers or exporters and those who abuse the regulations and place aircraft and passengers' safety at risk? Are there any specific cases of governments stepping in to check rogue industry players or penalizing them? Could you name any industry player who is doing a good job in enforcing DG regulations involving safe transportation lithium batteries? If so, do mention the same?
This is an area that IATA continues to have concerns about. We believe that civil aviation authorities (CAA) should be much more active in undertaking oversight and surveillance of shippers of dangerous goods, with a focus on shippers of lithium batteries, as well as of freight forwarders. In addition, the CAAs should take appropriate action, including prosecution where appropriate, against shippers where an airline has identified and reported instances where lithium batteries were found to be offered when not in compliance with the DGR.
#SafetoFly #LithiumSafe #SafeLithiumshipments