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USA: Pilots Hail ICAO Panel Action to Safeguard Lithium Battery Shipments on Aircraft

ALPA Calls for Approval by ICAO Air Navigation Commission and Council
WASHINGTON, Feb 13, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), lauded the Dangerous Goods Panel of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for advancing a recommendation that ICAO apply dangerous goods safety standards in the areas of labeling, training, inspection, and pilot notification to shipments of lithium batteries by air.

“The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), commends the Dangerous Goods Panel of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for recommending that certain dangerous goods standards be applied to lithium battery shipments aboard aircraft to safeguard passengers, crews, and cargo.

“The panel’s recommendation, which still must be approved by the ICAO Air Navigation Commission and Council, states that ICAO must adopt new provisions effective on January 1, 2013, to ensure that safety standards that cover the shipment of many dangerous goods aboard aircraft also apply to lithium batteries. The standards would specify that large shipments of lithium batteries are labeled as dangerous goods, shippers receive training regarding correctly preparing packages of lithium batteries, airlines perform an acceptance check and inspect packages before loading, and pilots are notified of the location of lithium battery shipments aboard their aircraft.

“ALPA pilots, led by First Officer Mark Rogers, ALPA’s director of Dangerous Goods Programs, have aggressively campaigned to enhance the safety of shipping lithium batteries on aircraft as part of our long-standing commitment to ‘One Level of Safety and Security’ across the airline industry.

“While this ICAO panel recommendation marks critical progress, ALPA pilots will not rest in our work until the safe transport of lithium batteries is ensured on all aircraft. Our union will continue to call for safety standards for batteries contained in electronic equipment, and to press for mandatory installation of adequate and effective fire suppression in all aircraft cargo compartments that have the potential to hold lithium batteries. We will also seek enhanced oversight and enforcement of battery shippers as ALPA pursues the goal of maintaining the safest possible air transportation system.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 53,000 pilots at 37 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org .

SOURCE: Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA)

ALPA Media, 703-481-4440
or media@alpa.org
Source marketwatch.com

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