The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has released a series of videos warning of the potential danger posed to aircraft from the carriage of lithium batteries.
The Authority is concerned about the significant rise in electronic devices being used by passengers and consumer electronic items transported by cargo operators. The videos are aimed at key airport staff and cargo handlers and have been produced with the assistance of the US government’s Federal Aviation Administration.
The videos highlight the fact that with billions of batteries in use around the world, there remains a risk from inferior counterfeit products that may not have undergone proper safety testing. Lithium batteries type fall into two categories, the ion varieties used in laptops and tablets, and non-rechargeable lithium-metal types found within watches. Both of these categories pose a potential risk if not handled correctly.
The CAA’s safety and airspace regulation group head, Mark Swan, says: “We know that incorrectly packaged or counterfeit lithium batteries are a potential fire risk. The CAA and FAA have, therefore, launched this industry awareness campaign to help manage that risk.” Llithium batteries have been cited as a possible cause for the of the missing Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370. According to its cargo list, it had been carrying Lithium-ion batteries and Malaysian-made radios destined for China.