PHMSA Announces Rule to Strengthen Safety for Lithium Batteries Transported by Aircraft

“This rule will strengthen safety for the traveling public by addressing the unique challenges lithium batteries pose in transportation,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said.

The Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, working with the Federal Aviation Administration, issued an Interim Final Rule on Feb. 27 to increase air safety by revising the Hazardous Materials Regulations for lithium-ion cells or batteries transported on aircraft.

"This rule will strengthen safety for the traveling public by addressing the unique challenges lithium batteries pose in transportation," U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao said.

The Interim Final Rule prohibits the transport of lithium-ion cells or batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft. It also requires lithium ion cells and batteries to be shipped at no more than a 30 percent state of charge aboard cargo-only aircraft.

"PHMSA is enhancing passenger safety by permitting personal electronic devices onboard aircraft while ensuring cargo shipments of batteries are transported separately," PHMSA Administrator Howard Elliott said.

For more information, see the Interim Final Rule as submitted to the Federal Register.

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