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U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Major Rule to Strengthen Safety Provisions for Lithium Batteries Transported by Aircraft

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
PHMSA 02-19
Contact (PHMSA): Bobby Fraser, (202) 366-4831
Contact (FAA): Gregory Martin, (202) 267-3883

WASHINGTONThe U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), today issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) to enhance air safety by revising the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) for lithium ion cells or batteries transported by aircraft.

“This rule will strengthen safety for the traveling public by addressing the unique challenges lithium batteries pose in transportation,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

This IFR prohibits the transport of lithium ion cells or batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft.  In addition, the IFR requires lithium ion cells and batteries to be shipped at not more than a 30 percent state of charge aboard cargo-only aircraft. 

“PHMSA is enhancing passenger safety by permitting personal electronic devices onboard aircraft while ensuring cargo shipments of batteries are transported separately,” said PHMSA Administrator Howard “Skip” Elliott.  

For further information, see the Interim Final Rule as submitted to the Federal Register or http://www.phmsa.dot.gov.  You may submit comments to the IFR under Docket Number: PHMSA‑2016‑0014 (HM‑224I) at the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov

About PHMSA:

The mission of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives.  PHMSA develops and enforces regulations for the safe operation of the nation’s 2.7 million-mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly one million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.  Please visit http://phmsa.dot.gov or https://twitter.com/PHMSA_DOT for more information.

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Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2019