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World Aviation Safety Summit to establish dangerous goods handling strategies

Posted 19 October 2018 · Add Comment

The 6th Annual World Aviation Safety Summit (WASS) will provide a focus on approaches for handling dangerous goods, organizers of the event revealed today. Hosted by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, WASS 2018 is set to return for its sixth edition on December 11 and 12 at Roda Al Bustan, Dubai.

More than 1.25 million dangerous goods shipments are handled and transported by air each year, according to statistics from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), with air cargo forecast to increase 4.9% annually for the next five years. Against the backdrop of this expected rise in dangerous goods transportation, WASS 2018 will address areas at the forefront of debate among policy-making and regulatory bodies.

In particular, Lithium-Ion batteries used to power mobile phones, laptops and other consumer devices have been a longstanding focus for regulators, airlines and cargo service operators alike. In 2010, a UPS aircraft transporting 80,000 Lithium-Ion batteries crashed after a fire broke out onboard. This year, the US Federal Aviation Administration reported a 48% increase in Lithium-Ion related incidents as compared to last year, from 31 in 2016 to 46 in 2017.

There is also increasing concern over the use and storage of Lithium-Ion batteries aboard passenger aircraft. In August 2018, a Ryanair flight was evacuated while at the gate after a power bank caught fire. A Delta flight was also halted shortly before take-off in March 2018, with cabin crew responding to an exploded device that had been stowed.

During WASS 2017, risks of stowing Lithium-Ion batteries on passenger flights were discussed following US and UK electronics bans that prevented travelers from certain countries from taking electrical items larger than a smartphone into the cabin. Many carriers around the world have since restricted the storage of Lithium-Ion devices in aircraft holds.

The 2018 edition of the Summit will bring together local and international stakeholders, providing a platform to assess the latest aviation safety procedures and future-proof regulatory frameworks. Attendees and participants include officials from regulatory authorities, airline and airport operators, aircraft manufacturers, pilot associations, safety organizations and air traffic control service providers.

Nicholas Webb, managing partner of Streamline Marketing Group, the event organisers, said: "While air transport is one of the safest means of mass travel in the world, maintaining this status requires constant vigilance and concerted efforts to mitigate against emerging safety concerns. The World Aviation Safety Summit is recognized globally as an essential gathering for industry and sector leaders. It is an important opportunity to develop discussions among key circles, from manufacturers and pilots to policy-makers and regulators. We are looking forward to welcoming delegates to Dubai for productive sessions around some of the most pressing areas related to aviation safety, and aim to contribute to maintaining air transport’s status as one of the safest forms of travel.”

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