Progress on ICAO's Strategic Objectives — Safety — New and Emerging Activities

New and Emerging Activities


Prohibition on the transport of lithium batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft


The Council approved amendments to the 2015-2016 Edition of the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Technical Instructions, Doc 9284) which prohibit the transport of lithium ion batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft. The additional requirements to mitigate risks posed by lithium batteries approved by Council in 2015 will remain in effect for transport on cargo aircraft.


The decision to introduce the prohibition was based on information provided by the Dangerous Goods, Flight Operations, and Airworthiness Panels and on test results which indicated that a fire involving high-density packages of lithium batteries can overwhelm aircraft cargo compartment fire protection systems. The prohibition is intended as a temporary measure until controls are in place which establish an acceptable level of safety. One of the controls necessary is a performance-based packaging standard for transporting lithium batteries. An SAE committee, established at the request of ICAO, began developing this standard in February.


The Council also approved amendments to the 2015-2016 Edition of the Supplement to the Technical Instructions (Doc 9284SU) which introduce guidance to States on the transport of lithium batteries.


Research project with Pharmaflight


ICAO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Pharma-Flight Center (PFC), a European Union (EU) Science and Research Center located in Hungary. The project is supported and co-financed by the EU and the Hungarian Government.


The objective of the MOU is to improve safety standards in global aviation by collaborating on research related to medical, physiological and mental aspects of the health of aviation personnel and by facilitating the transparent exchange of information. ICAO and PFC agreed that initial research should concentrate on the effects of fatigue, ageing and stress on human performance. The joint collaboration will help to develop new methods and tools to reduce human error by enabling aviation personnel to recognize decreased performance associated with medical, physiological and mental aspects of health and to implement appropriate actions to prevent incidents.

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