SAE International to Create Committee on Lithium Batteries

By Woodrow Bellamy III  | December 23, 2015

[Avionics Today 12-23-2015] SAE International is creating a new committee to develop a packaging performance standard for the safe shipment of lithium batteries as cargo on aircraft. The global standards development organization is creating the committee in response to a request from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the first formal tasking ICAO has issued to SAE International. 
Boeing 737s. Photo: Boeing.
According to SAE, lithium batteries can pose a significant risk during transport if they are damaged or defective, or if they are not properly designed or manufactured.  In response ICAO, the International Coordination Council for Aerospace Industry Associations (ICCAIA) and the International Federation of Airline Pilots Association (IFALPA) have recommended that appropriate packaging and shipping requirements be established.

Formation of the new SAE International Lithium Battery Packaging Committee is underway and the initial meeting will be held virtually in January 2016. Participation on the committee is open to individuals with an interest in developing lithium battery packaging performance standards. Subject matter experts from operators, aircraft OEMs, battery manufacturers, packaging manufacturers, regulatory authorities, testing laboratories, and others are encouraged to participate. 

“Lithium batteries are an important part of today’s technology, but we need to ensure that we can transport them safely and efficiently via aircraft,” said Andrew Smart, director of society and industry programs for SAE International. 

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