With all the issues surrounding the lithium batteries on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, a United Nations panel has weighed into the mêlée with a recommendation prohibiting the shipping of lithium-ion batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft. The comments are from the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO
) governing council, which sets non-binding policies for airlines worldwide. On January 1st there was a revision to the policy to allow 35 kilograms of lithium batteries in cargo on passenger planes.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA
) granted special permission to Boeing to use lithium-ion batteries as the company made the aircraft 20 percent more fuel efficient. But regulators have grounded the 787 fleet after problems aboard two of the planes. Three cargo aircraft crashes are suspected of fires stemming from packages of batteries. One of those flights, a UPS
Boeing 747-400 was carrying more than 81,000 lithium batteries that caught fire.
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