AEA: FAA Publishes Draft Policy on Lithium Batteries
SUMMARY: The Federal Aviation Administration published a draft policy (ANM-113-10-004) on the certification of permanently installed rechargeable lithium batteries.
MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS: This policy memorandum provides guidance on permanently installed (part of the type certificate or supplemental type certificate) rechargeable lithium batteries or rechargeable lithium battery systems and their protective circuitry used on transport-category aircraft. Increased use of rechargeable lithium batteries and battery systems located in many areas of the aircraft has prompted the FAA to review the adequacy of existing regulations. The FAA’s review indicates the existing regulations do not adequately address several failure, operation and maintenance characteristics of newly developed batteries and battery systems, which could affect the safety and reliability of the electronics-system installation. Specifically, this policy addresses new batteries and battery systems requirements not adequately addressed in Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations 25.1353. Special conditions may be required for these systems. The intent of this policy is to establish when special conditions will be proposed and what the proposed special conditions will be, as well as to provide a standardized approach on how to show compliance for these newly developed battery and battery systems, including their installations. This policy also will ensure, as required by §25.601 and §25.1309, that they do not represent a hazard to the aircraft and its occupants.
AEA COMMENTARY: AEA members should keep in mind that “special conditions may be required for these systems.” If you manufacture rechargeable lithium batteries and battery systems, you must review the draft policy and submit your comments to the FAA before Aug. 29, 2010. Comments can be submitted through the FAA’s Aviation Safety Draft Policy Open for Comment.