Today's Federal Register includes an exemption notice that allows Rosemount Aerospace to install cargo video surveillance systems in Airbus A330s. The notable feature: the systems include lithium batteries.
FAA notes that Part 25 regulations covering batteries haven't been updated in three decades -- or before lithium batteries became commonplace in even simple devices, like cell phones. Quoting the exemption notice:
The proposed use of lithium batteries for equipment and systems on the Airbus Model A330-200 and A330-300 airplanes has prompted the FAA to review the adequacy of these existing regulations. Our review indicates that the existing regulations do not adequately address several failure, operational, and maintenance characteristics of lithium batteries that could affect the safety and reliability of lithium-battery installations on Airbus Model A330-200 and A330-300 airplanes.
Lithium batteries being shipped on airplanes as cargo have been fingered as the cause of several recent in-flight smoke or fire incidents, leading to a call by some for tighter regulations