FAA issues Lithium battery draft policy

 - September 21, 2010, 10:05 AM

The FAA has published a draft policy (ANM-113-10-004) that could affect the certification of permanently installed rechargeable lithium batteries in Part 25 airplanes.

The proposed policy memo ­provides guidance on re-chargeable lithium batteries used in transport-category aircraft that are part of a supplemental type certificate or the original type certificate. Increased use of rechargeable lithium batteries prompted the FAA to review existing regulations. The review found the current regs do not adequately address rechargeable lithium batteries, which the agency has said can ignite or explode under certain conditions. The policy update is intended to ensure such ­batteries do not pose a safety hazard. The ­Aircraft Electronics Association is telling ­members that “special ­conditions” could be applied to electronics that use rechargeable lithium batteries if the FAA adopts the policy memo. In a draft policy memo released in February last year, the FAA warned of potential safety hazards associated with the rechargeable lithium batteries in electronic flight bag (EFB) portable computers. The FAA has also banned passengers from carrying certain large rechargeable lithium batteries on
airline flights.