This week, IATA (The International Air Transport Association) have issued a plea to member states, asking for a clampdown on rogue shippers of lithium batteries – a real issue within the dangerous goods world.
Whilst lithium batteries, on a whole, are seen as safe by organisations such as the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), the real risks come about when rogue shippers send them without effective UN packaging, which have significant level of risks associated.
IATA’s Director General and CEO, Tony Tyler, said:
Safety is aviation’s top priority. Airlines, shippers and manufacturers have worked hard to establish rules that ensure lithium batteries can be carried safely. But the rules are only effective if they are enforced and backed-up by significant penalties. Government authorities must step up and take responsibility for regulating rogue producers and exporters. And flagrant abuses of dangerous goods shipping regulations, which place aircraft and passenger safety at risk, must be criminalised.
Lithium batteries continue to dominate the news and it is unclear as to when dangerous goods professionals will consider the issue as well assessed and the industry as well equipped to transport compliantly. This plea from IATA is welcomed by the industry, but is not the first time an organisation has publicly come out against non-compliant packaging of lithium batteries and will probably not be the last.
Information correct at time of publishing, 7th August 2016