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Detection of Lithium Batteries Using Security Screening Equipment

Lithium batteries, whether or not contained in equipment, are one of the main causes of the incidents reported in the cabin. The main risks are fire and smoke, which can lead to catastrophic events. Certain restrictions apply to the carriage by passengers of lithium metal and lithium ion batteries in accordance to ICAO Annex 18 and the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods (ICAO Doc. 9284).

Notwithstanding, that screeners shall primarily focus their attention on identification of prohibited items from a security perspective, there is a need to investigate possible technical, operational and regulatory solutions to support safety requirements (in particular detection of lithium batteries not transported in line with applicable safety rules) without affecting the performance of screening operations.


The main objective of the project is to evaluate the feasibility of the detection of lithium batteries transported as checked baggage using the security screening equipment and processes in operation at airports. The project should investigate what are technical, operational and regulatory solutions to support safety-related requirements without affecting the performance of security operations as well as identify the main limitations, constraints and financial cost elements for their implementation at European airports. The project shall also study potential developments of technology and solutions for application to other transport scenarios (e.g. cargo, cabin baggage).

Main tasks / deliverables:

The main outcome of the project is to assess the valid and cost-effective technical, operational and regulatory solutions to be used for detecting lithium batteries in checked baggage, while considering additional potential safety benefits for other transport scenarios (e.g. cargo). 
An impact assessment of the proposed detection of lithium batteries on security performance and operations shall be also performed and presented.