Governments need to take strong action against those who deliberately abuse dangerous goods shipping regulations, International Air Transport Association (IATA) cargo committee chairman, and Cathay Pacific director of cargo, James Woodrow says.
Woodrow made the comments at the IATA World Cargo Symposium closing plenary in Shanghai (China) on 12 March. He called for what he describes as, “flagrant abuses,” of dangerous goods regulations to be criminalised, because of the risk to aircraft caused by goods such as lithium batteries, when they are poor quality or incorrectly packed. He says there have been too many incidents of non-declared dangerous goods and it is also placing passengers at risk as well as freighter aircraft.
He adds: “Government authorities must step up and take responsibility for regulating producers and exporters and ensure compliance by those who are responsible for initiating the transportation. Flagrant abuses of dangerous goods shipping regulations which place aircraft safety at risk must be criminialised.”
Woodrow also called for increased shipment assessments and trusted shipper programmes so those who comply are not unduly impacted. His comments followed the dangerous goods track, which, in the section titled Risk Mitigation Strategies, Woodrow’s Cathay Pacific colleague, airline ground safety manager, Peter Hunt, talked about problems facing airlines and lithium ion batteries. He says some shippers and passengers are unaware of the risks of lithium ion batteries while some are deliberately breaking the rules. He says after UPS suffered an onboard fire, Cathay Pacific launched its own working group to assess whether its procedures were adequate.