On May 11, IATA held an air cargo media briefing. Like most things at the moment, it was on-line. Nick Careen, SVP airport passenger, cargo and security in he presented some industry issues.
In his speech, he commented:
• Air cargo has emerged from the pandemic stronger and more agile and is well positioned for the future. • But there is one area that need to be addressed as priority – safety, specifically the transport of lithium batteries – the safety concerns around these remain of significant concern to our members. • Demand for lithium batteries continues to rise as does the risk from lithium battery related fires. • Our main concern has been around accidents from rogue shipping incidents – misdeclaration untested batteries and improperly prepared shipments. • But the recent incident on the ramp at Chek Lap Kok Hong Kong International Airport where a pallet full of smartphones caught fire prior to being loaded on a flight to Bangkok is concerning – the investigation indicated that the shipment was as per regulation and consignment declared correctly
• What does that mean for the industry? • It means that work with regulatory authorities (EASA and FAA) to develop a test standard that can be used to demonstrate the capabilities of fire containment covers needs to be accelerated. • But we also need to continue targeting rogue shippers. • Government authorities must step up and take responsibility for stopping rogue producers and exporters. Abuses of dangerous goods shipping regulations, which place aircraft and passenger safety at risk, must be criminalised. • We also need industry to step up and expand the collection of incident data and develop methods for the incident data to be shared to support the airlines’ safety risk assessment processes. • A safe industry is a sustainable industry