Shows & Panels
Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- American Readiness: Renewable Power and Efficiency Technologies
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Delivering the Digital Government Mission
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal News Radio's National Cyber Security Awareness Month Special Panel Discussion
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- Government Perspectives on Mobility and the Cloud
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Mitigating Insider Threats in Virtual & Cloud Environments
- Modern Mission Critical Series
- The New Generation of Database
- Reimagining the Next Generation of Government
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
UN agency moves to kill aircraft battery exemption
Tuesday - 2/12/2013, 3:00pm EST
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A U.N. agency that sets global aviation safety standards is moving to prevent aircraft batteries like the one that caught fire on a Boeing 787 last month from being shipped as cargo on passenger planes, people familiar with the effort said.
Over the past few days, the members of the International Civil Aviation Organization's dangerous goods committee have proposed revoking an exemption that permitted lithium ion aircraft batteries as heavy as 77 pounds to be shipped on passenger planes, the sources told The Associated Press. All other lithium ion battery shipments on passenger planes are limited to 11 pounds or less because of the batteries' susceptibility to short-circuit and ignite.
The head of the agency's air navigation commission has signed off on the proposal, the sources said. Late Monday, agency officials were trying to reach the agency's council president, who was traveling, for his signature, which they hoped to secure Tuesday. As soon as the council president signs off on the change, it will be posted online and become effective immediately, those familiar with the situation said.
They requested anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly.
The agency's standards aren't binding, but are widely followed by countries around the world.
The exemption for aircraft batteries, which was sought by the airline industry, has been in effect for less than two months. Airlines wanted to be able to ship replacement batteries quickly to planes whose batteries were depleted or had failed rather than wait for a cargo plane.
The Federal Aviation Administration and aviation authorities in other countries grounded the 787 fleet more than three weeks ago after a battery caught fire in a plane parked in Boston and another 787 with a smoking battery made an emergency landing in Japan. The 787, dubbed the Dreamliner by Boeing, is the first airliner to make extensive use of lithium ion batteries, which are lighter weight, charge faster and contain more energy than conventional batteries similar in size.
The 787 has two lithium ion batteries weighing 63 pounds each.
The same day as the Boston fire, the Transportation Department published new regulations adopting the U.N. exemption to allow lithium ion aircraft battery shipments greater than 11 pounds on passenger planes.
Pilots and safety advocates complained that it didn't make sense to ground the 787 because its battery system is too risky, but then allow the same batteries to be shipped as cargo on airliners.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the Boston fire but so far has been unable to determine what triggered one of the battery's eight cells to repeatedly short-circuit. The short-circuiting led to thermal runaway, a chemical reaction characterized by progressively hotter temperatures. The short-circuiting and thermal runaway spread to the battery's other cells, igniting the fire.
Investigators are trying to determine whether the root cause of the incident was a problem related to the charging of the battery, the battery's design or its manufacture, NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman told reporters last week.
The board also is working with Japanese authorities, who are leading the investigation into the second battery incident that led to an emergency landing on Jan. 16.
The airline industry has looked at lithium ion aircraft batteries as part of aviation's future, but the 787's troubles have heightened safety concerns. The new Airbus A350, expected to be ready late next year, is also designed to also make extensive use of lithium ion batteries.
International Civil Aviation Organization http://www.icao.int
Follow Joan Lowy at http://www.twitter.com/AP_Joan_Lowy
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.