Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lithium Battery Curbs Likely After UPS Crash

(Cargonews Asia)

Federal officials are poised to substantially tighten restrictions on transporting lithium batteries in U.S. cargo planes, according to people familiar with the details, after an apparent cargo fire resulted in the crash of a United Parcel Service (UPS) jet in Dubai, reported Dow Jones Newswires.

The move, which would affect nearly all U.S. cargo carriers, could also force manufacturers and distributors of consumer electronics to alter their packaging and documentation procedures. Lithium batteries are used in a wide array of electronic devices, such as cell phones and laptop computers.

The urgency of the new restrictions, which people familiar with the matter expect to be announced shortly, appear to be a response to signs that lithium batteries may have stoked the intense fire and dense smoke that filled the cockpit of the UPS Boeing 747 jumbo jet before it went down on September 3, while trying to return to Dubai International Airport. Read more here.