Pilots want lithium batteries banned from flightsby Annie Baxter, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The world's largest pilots union is calling for a ban on lithium battery shipments in passenger and cargo aircraft because of the potential for fires.
The Air Line Pilots Association cites an incident in the Twin Cities as one of three recent fires or suspected fires on board aircraft linked to the batteries.
The Metropolitan Airports Commission says a fire occurred on a Federal Express cargo aircraft arriving from Indianapolis earlier this month. A MAC spokesman says the suspected cause is a shipment of smokeless cigarettes powered with lithium batteries.
The other incidents occurred in Hawaii and the Dominican Republic.
The Federal Aviation Administration no longer permits lithium batteries in packed luggage and has banned large shipments of lithium-metal batteries on passenger planes. The batteries are permitted with some restrictions in carry-on baggage.