NEW IATA Lithium battery flight guidance

This updated IATA document on carrying Lithium Batteries on aircraft should provoke some discussion amongst the SOTA fraternity… more red tape for us adventurers flying abroad with our radio equipment. I am heading to Crete SV9/G4OBK/P in May.

[PDF link on webpage to full document] (IATA - Lithium Batteries)

73 Phil G4OBK


It doesn’t look like anything has changed.


Hi Phil,
Can you point me to what has changed - looking at IATA dgr.65.en.2.3a.pdf (dangerous goods carried by passengers or crew) pointed to via your page (the red passenger information link) - I can’t see any changes. The relevant sections appear to be as they were before i.e:

Up to 100Wh can go in hold luggage - 100-160Wh has to be in carry-on.

Perhaps the approval of the operator is now formalised? It was inferred previously as you were asked at check-in (whether in person or through the automatic terminals) whether you are checking in Lithium batteries. It’s probably best to remove and carry the batteries as carry-on luggage in any case.

I suspect the changes to the document are because of “Smart-Bags” i.e. electric powered cases, where their batteries now have to be removed and carried in the cabin.


1 Like

This guidance says to carry well discharged batteries, no more than 30% charged, but I haven’t read it in detail. Look at the PDF download. “Lithium battery guidance document”

At Newcastle Airport last month going to EA8 they had installed the new tyope of scanners. No need to remove anything from the rucksack. Laptop, KX3, batteries etc inside no questions asked. I still got frisked though - because of my CRTD Pacemaker I cannot go through the human beings scanner.

73 Phil


It’s not clear initially but that first page is for shipping/cargo only. i.e. for people like Hobbyking to follow. There’s a big red link at the bottom for passengers.

EDIT: It confused me at first about having to have low level of charge and it was only when reading over the whole page I realised it was about shipping. But well spotted Phil because I’m just getting flights for later this year sorted and was looking down my checklist and “IATA lithium info sheet” is something I printed a few years back. Time to get a new copy to take with me.


The flowchart on page 9 shows that “batteries” which includes the power banks we use to power radios are not allowed to be carried on passenger aircraft. However, elsewhere it says power banks can be carried in hand luggage so I guess the flowchart only covers cargo.

Also interesting to see LiFePo4 is classed as lithium ion, not lithium metal.

How they measure the 30% state of charge is not mentioned.


Why are you looking at the document for how to ship batteries as cargo John?

1 Like

That’s probably because it is lithium ion.

1 Like

Probably because the link takes you to a lot of separate documents. :slight_smile:

The one about advice to passengers, which I’ve just found seems to be the most appropriate. It says batteries (maximum of 2) can have a maximum rating of 160Wh which for a typical 4S battery would equate to 12Ah I think.

I don’t know if this is different to the previous rule.

1 Like

160 Wh is unchanged from the past few years. However, always best to check with your airline. Jet2 allows up to 100Wh as cabin baggage with no approval required. Up to 160Wh requires approval ie you need to tell them before checking in so that they have a note of it. On my recent trip to Lanzarote I took a 76.8 Wh battery and it didn’t get a second look going through security.


I think the more relevant page for us normal passengers is this one:

I do not think that his has changed much. Last year, when travelling to Canada and back to Switzerland again, I carried a copy of this with me, just in case. I had some discussions with airport security about all my gear (radio, antenna, cable, battery) in carry-on luggage, but all went well.

73 de Martin / HB9GVW


I’ve flown with radios a lot recently. Never been asked about batteries.

Have been asked about an RH-770 telescopic whip, “jumbles” of wires and an MSR water filter that looked like a hand grenade.


Well.thar made me laugh… maybe a good idea to carry something like this… so they focus on it and leave your radio and battery alone. (I’m only kidding).

I’ve had the whole “jumble of wires” discussion too!


Has anyone travelled with a home brew rig? Or a home made battery back? That definitely doesn’t look like sticks of Cemtex with wires…


Not for 12 years, but I got 2 of these onto a flight to and from Madeira. Don’t know how!


Yes to that.

1 Like

ALERT ALERT ALERT!! Call the bomb disposal team immediately
ScreenHunter 495

PS Wasn’t it in Madiera where charging batteries caught fire in a hotel room with the hotel having to be evacuated (No callsigns mentioned!)


ISTR Mrs. FMF asking what it was and I said it’s a home made battery made from cells that were sold as scrap at a radio rally.

Don’t know about fires in hotels. But on charging, I always charge my vast collection of Lithium batteries at low charge rates. You can fast charge packs but I’ve always felt slow charging and minimising heat is probably a good thing. All my 4Ahr LiPo, LiFePo packs get charged at 0.5A. Sure it takes longer but I have a 2009 vintage 4Ahr LiPo that is still performing quite acceptably.


Obviously I give mine hell… 1.5A, because I’m impatient. :joy:

Those small 3S LiPo chargers we used to use back a decade or more ago charged at 0.8A and for a time I set the iMax B6AC at this rate, but over the years the rate has crept up. Still. 3 of my original 2009 vintage 4 LiPos regularly power the 817 or KX3 on activations so it can’t be too harsh.

As for carrying sticks dynamite disguised as batteries, I certainly would want to risk it. It looks like the perfect project for a 3D printer to make them appear respectable.


You are very daring.

[Perhaps you missed out something there!]