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Plan drafted for fuel cells on airliners

Posted by iTech - 2005-11-08

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has drafted conditions that will allow the transportation and use of fuel cells on board passenger airliners.

The action came during a two-week meeting of the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel in Montreal. The panel is still finalizing its meeting results for approval by the ICAO Air Navigation Committee, but the draft language allows the transportation and use of fuel cells using butane fuel cells, formic acid fuel cells, direct methanol fuel cells, and reformed methanol fuel cells by passengers and crew.

New conditions require compliance with the International Electrotechnical Commission Specification for Micro Fuel Cell Safety, which places limits on the size and number of fuel cartridges to be carried, and allow transportation in carry-on baggage only.

Once ratified, this passenger exception would go into effect in the ICAO Technical Instructions on Jan. 1, 2007. The various member states, including the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan, will all need to revise their own rules prior to actual implementation.

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