The bad wrap that lithium batteries receive was further strengthened when a new 787 Dreamliner had a small on-board fire at Logan Airport in Boston. It was suspected that a lithium battery
that was part of the auxiliary power unit, "exploded" after the passengers had left after a flight from Toyko. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB
) said it found "severe fire damage" in a rack of lithium-ion batteries in the electronics bay of the 787. The NTSB has been wary of the lithium ion batteries as they are significantly more susceptible to internal failures that can result in self-sustaining increases in temperature, more so than their nickel-cadmium or lead-acid batteries.
On January 1st the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO
) introduced stricter regulations for the bulk shipment of lithium batteries. As the batteries are more likely to heat up and catch fire, the regulations now subject to additional labeling, packaging and documentation requirements. The batteries are suspected to being a factor in the crash of two planes; Asiana Airlines 747-400 off South Korea, in July 2011, and a UPS 747-400 in September 2010 in Dubai.
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