Rechargeable lithium ion batteries will no longer be permitted as cargo on passenger carrying aircraft from 1 April, following a decision by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Single use lithium metal batteries have been prohibited from being transported as cargo, on passenger aircraft, since 1 January 2015.
This decision applies only to lithium ion batteries being shipped as cargo, and does not apply to batteries carried by passengers in portable electronic devices, or as spares. Passenger’s spare batteries must continue to be carried as cabin baggage, so that they are readily accessible, and can be extinguished if they short circuit.
Dedicated freight aircraft will still be able to take lithium ion batteries as cargo when they have a state of charge <30% and are properly packaged, labelled, documented and declared.
The prohibition is an interim measure until a new lithium battery packaging standard can be introduced in 2018.