Last month a United Nations panel suggested a total ban on cargo shipments of lithium-ion batteries on passenger flights. The UN had previously rejected similar restrictions in the past but is open to considering them now. A total ban has been recommended by the UN panel on aviation so as to not allow rechargeable lithium-ion batteries as cargo on passenger planes.
Starting April 1st, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries will no longer be allowed to be shipped on passenger flights. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has said that this ban is going to remain in place until new fire-resistant packaging is designed to safely ship these batteries on passenger flights, the new packaging standard isn’t expected to arrive before 2018.
It is mandatory on ICAO member states to respect the ban, a total of 191 ICAO member states will now have to adhere to this new restriction, there’s no ban on shipping of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries on cargo planes. The ban only applies to their shipment on commercial flights.
Airlines have already banned shipments of some products containing lithium-ion batteries that are deemed to be fire hazards, hoverboards are a popular example, they certainly don’t want hundreds of passengers sitting on top of cargo that could potentially combust and pose a serious safety risk.