Dangerous goods including lithium batteries are safe to transport if managed according to international regulations and standards but on the other hand, the number of incidents involving misdeclared or undeclared lithium batteries has also significantly risen.
Figures show that the market for lithium-ion battery is expected to register a Compound Annual Growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 22% during the forecast period (2019-2024),the growth is coming declining lithium-ion battery prices and the increasing sale of consumer electronics.
As IATA members (commercial airlines) are seeing an increase in the number of incidents in which rogue shippers are not complying, awareness campaigns have been launched by IATA with different partners including the Global Shippers Forum and the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA).
Governments being key partners are also being required to take actions by raising awareness, eradicating rogue manufacturers, prosecuting offenders and identifying origins of counterfeit batteries and demanding states take action to eradicate.
“Airlines, shippers and manufacturers have worked hard to establish rules that ensure lithium battery can be carries safely but as regulators , governments must play their role as regulators with much restricter enforcement of international regulations to ensure the safe transport of these vital shipments which place aircraft and passengers safety at risk” said Nick Careen,IATA’s Senior Vice President in charge of Airport , Passenger, Cargo and Security during the Global Media Day taking place at the IATA Center –Geneva.
New incidents reporting and alert system for airlines and the facilitation of a joined-up industry approach being among the specific initiatives of the campaign, much of the focus of the campaign will be put on the cargo sector as lithium-ion batteries can not be carried as cargo on passenger flights but these batteries carried by passengers remain a safety concern for airlines.
Again last year, the airlines association initiated an awareness campaign aimed at passengers to remind them that portable electronic devices (PEDs) and specifically lithium-ion batteries must never be packed in checked luggages.