The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will hold the first of two Boeing 787-related public events April 11-12, focusing generally on lithium ion batteries in transportation.
According to NTSB, the lithium ion battery “forum,” to be held at the board’s headquarters in Washington DC, will focus on the “the design, development and performance of lithium ion batteries; regulations and standards related to manufacturing, use and transport of the batteries; and the application and safety aspects of lithium battery technology in various transportation modes.”
NTSB is continuing its investigation into the Jan. 7 Japan Airlines 787 lithium ion battery fire in Boston. Later in April, it plans to hold a public hearing specifically focused on the design and certification of the 787’s battery system, which uses lithium ion batteries.
The April 11-12 forum “will explore failure modes and other performance issues” with lithium ion batteries, NTSB said. While the event will inevitably focus on the 787’s batteries, it also likely will touch on lithium batteries carried as air cargo. Two fatal freighter crashes, one involving a UPS 747-400 in September 2010 and another involving an Asiana Airlines 747-400 in July 2011, have been tied to lithium battery cargo fires.