Overview project plan

The constant growth in the volumes of lithium-metal and -ion batteries transported by air, in view of their ubiquitous application in a wide range of electric products, places such an issue prominently in the air safety agenda. Lithium batteries may have been the cause, or contributed to, uncontrolled fires that lead to the loss of three cargo aircrafts between 2006 and 2011.

This increase in incidents with lithium batteries and the fact that current measures seem to not be enough to prevent a potential catastrophe has driven ICAO to approve a ban for lithium metal and ion batteries to be transported as cargo in passenger aircraft until proper solutions are implemented.

Besides all the recommendations issued by several aviation related authorities a number of interim measures have been adopted and are applicable for cargo aircraft as from April 1st 2016.

The Safe Battery Transport by Air (Sabatair) project aims at providing an additional contribution to enhance safety when transporting lithium metal and lithium ion batteries on board a cargo aircraft.

The specific objectives of the Sabatair project are:


Assessment of the definition and of the effectiveness of the test methods as described in the draft SAE AS6413 standard and give inputs and recommendations to the SAE G-27 committee

Identification and assessment of additional mitigating measures to packaging and multi-layered approaches

Evaluation of the effectiveness of potential mitigating measures against fire risk related to the transport of lithium metal and lithium ion batteries in an environment representative of a Class C cargo compartment

Develop guidelines to support the production of a safety risk assessment for operators