Capt. Moak sent a letter yesterday to Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx asking for an immediate issue of a final rule to harmonize the regulation of the air transport of lithium batteries as cargo with international standards.
International standards include training, labeling, and pilot notification requirements for packages containing more than eight cells or two batteries. Current U.S. regulations allow exceptions for a large number of consumer batteries in a single package, and any number of packages on an airplane. These batteries could be transported without a flight crew ever being aware of the potential risk.
This regulation is long past due and the U.S. is currently behind the international aviation community on important protocols related to safely transporting lithium batteries by air. Issuing this regulation will create a single set of regulatory criteria for the transportation of lithium batteries via air and is urgently needed to increase safety margins.