CASA used this photo of the Melbourne jet fire to argue the risks of li-ion batteries

When you check in for a flight in Australia no matter how you do it, you have to comply with very strict safety rules related to lithium-ion batteries.

But did you know that Australia’s air safety regulator CASA, despite all its posturing over the risks these types of batteries pose to air travel, is actively opposing an international ban on lithium-ion and other rechargeable battery shipments on passenger airliners?

Of course not.

Do you feel like a mug when our aviation safety bureaucracy unloads all of this safety message stuff on the public and then sides with organisations like IATA, or battery makers, or other big money interests like computer, tablet and phone makers that don’t give a damn whether they are putting you at unacceptable risk of being burned alive in mid air by their insistence on getting their stuff into cargo holds under your plane seats?

This obscene duplicity by CASA (and the likely total ignorance of same by Government) is exposed in this Associated Press story.

Here is but part of that story.

A UN aviation panel Wednesday rejected a ban on rechargeable battery shipments on passenger airliners despite evidence they can cause explosions and unstoppable, in-flight fires, aviation officials told The Associated Press.

The International Civil Aviation Organization panel on dangerous goods voted 10 to 7 against a ban.

The panel’s decision is a recommendation to ICAO’s air navigation bureau. It would be unusual for the bureau not to follow the recommendation.

The United States, Russia, Brazil, China and Spain, as well as organizations representing airline pilots and aircraft manufacturers, voted in favor of the ban. The Netherlands, Canada, France, Australia, Italy, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Japan and the United Kingdom, as well as the International Air Transport Association, a global airline trade group, voted against it.

There is much more in this article, which should be read in full here.

A CASA spokesman didn’t deny the accuracy of the story, other than to say that no actual vote took place. Apparently there was a 10 to 7 consensus against a ban, or a numerical but non-voting decision taken, with Australia on the side of risking your and mine and our families lives being ended in a horrendous manner because vacuous, selfish, indifferent and greedy interests think it fine that we accept that risk on their behalf.

What CASA is doing siding with this situation is a very serious question, and totally contradictory to the public settings that were so clearly advanced on its web site at least until mid morning today.

Here is the main CASA link, and a story in Flight Safety Australia, and an ATSB report into a serious incident on a Fiji Airways 737 in Melbourne, where a passenger had lied about undeclared lithium ion batteries in checked luggage, some of which burst into flames inside the belly of that jet before it could take off in April last year.

There is a massive and deeply entrenched problem in air safety in Australia, in that the executive branch, Government and at the moment the deputy PM Warren Truss in particular, has no idea nor interest it seems in what the administrative branch, that thinks it is untouchable, is actually doing .

The previous Minister responsible, Anthony Albanese, knew what was going on and didn’t when push came to shove, give a damn, and the current Infrastructure Minister, Warren Truss, only knows what he is told, which is either nothing or crap depending on the moment.

When Qantas was contacted about the numerical non-vote over a ban on lithium-ion battery shipments in passenger jets it made it abundantly clear, in the most straightforward of English, that it was having none of it, that it had independently concluded that such shipments were an unacceptable risk to passenger safety, and that it would do everything in its power to prevent the carriage of such batteries by passengers except in full compliance with the conditions everyone had to accept before being allowed to board one of its flights.

What’s good for Qantas is good for air safety in Australia. CASA, and the Minister, need to stop this battery shipment nonsense and get on board.

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