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This week ICAO’s Dangerous Goods Panel is reviewing tests completed last month on the transport of lithium batteries. It has to decide by tomorrow whether to treat both cargo and passenger aircraft in the same way, and consider whether to impose further restrictions or an outright ban on shipping lithium metal batteries by air. While an outright ban would have severe implications for the air cargo industry, it seems more likely that some compromises involving certain types of battery, packaging and quantity could be considered. IATA estimates that over a billion lithium cells are flown each year.

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