• Rationale

    Lithium batteries can catch fire or explode if they are faulty, abused or not manufactured to international standards. Shipments of undeclared lithium batteries would not be subjected to the normal aviation safety checks and handling procedures and so may be inadvertently carried on board passenger aircraft.

    The carriage by passengers of lithium batteries (which are not contained in equipment) within checked baggage presents a higher hazard than carriage in the cabin, where crew members are able to deal with a fire should one occur.

    EPAS requires that: Safety Issue shall be addressed by the Member States on their State Safety Programmes.

    This will include as a minimum agreeing a set of actions and measuring their effectiveness. EPAS requires that Member States will develop a safety leaflet to inform general aviation pilots on the risks involved in transporting dangerous goods.  

    Outcomes

    • The effects of fire, smoke and fumes on board aircraft, caused by undeclared and undetected lithium batteries carried in freight, are mitigated through detection prior to carriage.

    Actions

    • Take action where the CAA can best mitigate risks from fire, smoke and fumes. Our analysis has told us that the highest risk is from undeclared and undetected lithium batteries being carried in freight.  Our action will build on work we have already done with the Department for Transport and Rapiscan Systems to provide a global capability in automated lithium battery detection. We will also explore the viability of detecting lithium batteries through existing visual x-ray screening technologies and processes.
    • Continue to investigate reports of undeclared lithium batteries shipped from the UK and refer reports of shipments originating from outside of the UK to the State of Origin.