The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Transportation recently issued an interim rule banning the transportation of lithium-ion cells and batteries as cargo on passenger flights. However, this new rule doesn’t affect individuals’ ability to carry lithium ion devices on flights or your ability to travel with your SmartScoot™ mobility scooter.
This regulation reads as follows:
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issues this interim final rule to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations to (1) prohibit the transport of lithium-ion cells and batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft; (2) require all lithium-ion cells and batteries to be shipped at not more than a 30 percent state of charge on cargo-only aircraft; and (3) limit the use of alternative provisions for small lithium cell or battery to one package per consignment.
The amendments will not restrict passengers or crew members from bringing personal items or electronic devices containing lithium cells or batteries aboard aircraft, or restrict the air transport of lithium ion cells or batteries when packed with or contained in equipment.
You can click here to view the full amendment from the PHMSA.
This new regulation is geared specifically to large shipments of lithium-ion batteries which, when stored together in a confined space, can be dangerous. If an incident were to occur because of a lithium-ion battery, it is much more difficult for the crew to deal with a fire in a tightly packed or inaccessible cargo hold than it is in the open space of the cabin.
As lithium-ion batteries are now one of the most common battery types used in consumer electronics, banning passengers’ ability to travel with devices using them would create massive disruptions to air travel. This new rule may impact wait times for people who place long-distance purchase orders for batteries, but the majority of travelers will not be impacted by this rule on cargo shipments.
So rest easy SmartScoot travelers, as you are unaffected by this new rule. SmartScoot uses a lithium-ion battery rated at 288-watt-hours and contains less than 25 grams equivalent lithium content. You can click here to learn more about FAA compliance and download the SmartScoot battery compliance certificate for your next adventure.