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U.S. bars lithium batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft

February 27, 2019 / David Shepardson

The U.S. government said on Wednesday it is issuing new rules barring airlines from carrying potentially hazardous lithium-ion cells and batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft, and setting new requirements for transporting them on cargo planes. The U.S. Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) unveiled the new rules after Congress last year ordered the agency to complete them by early 2019. The agency is adopting requirements that have been force in other countries since 2016.Large U.S. carriers already voluntarily comply with requirements that were adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization, the U.N. aviation agency, that took effect in April 2016, PHMSA said.President Donald Trump’s administration will require lithium-ion cells and batteries to be generally shipped with a state of charge of no more than 30 percent on cargo aircraft.