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SpectrumFX Blog

From SpectrumFX: Useful guidance needed from FAA

Kent Faith - Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lithium batteries are dangerous, and the FAA has no plans to assure passenger safety. They aren’t even using private research data to complement their own research in formulating their conclusions.

If the lithium batteries in Personal Electronic Devices (PED) weren’t dangerous enough (144 incidents of fire events on commercial aircraft reported between 1991 and 2014 ), the FAA just last week published guidelines for the airlines that ask them to have passengers not check the E Cigarettes in luggage, but bring them into the cabin where they can be “monitored.”

The FAA advocates for the use of Halon followed by a passenger beverage to extinguish a lithium battery fire! Neither work.

Is this a pro-active safety plan? See the latest Bloomberg article here.

If the lithium battery cigarette is dangerous in cargo, wouldn’t it be just as dangerous in the cabin, or more so? It does not appear the FAA has a coherent logical risk based approach when issuing guidance on these safety hazards.

The following statement from a retired FAA Flight Standard’s Director: “These CYA SAFOs” are troubling especially when coupled with the failure to promote and integrate relevant private research data into the William J. Hughes Tech Ctr. Compounding failures in my opinion. Where is the internal proactive safety risk management FAA talks about? Is it in theory only?

I’m afraid it is.