Author Archives: Nikki Burgess, CDGP, DGSA

Hoverboards, this season’s hot holiday gift, banned from airline transport

While many Americans focus on holiday activity and the shopping often attendant to that, one product that might be on people’s “get list” looks like it may run into logistics trouble arriving under the tree.  On Thursday, December 10th US media outlets like The Washington Post and CNN reported that major US airlines including United,

2018 Rail PTC Extension rolls through Congress

Congress acted to avert confusion and delay on the nation’s rail infrastructure on Wednesday October 28th, 2015 by passing an extension to what had been a looming December 31st, 2015 deadline for railroads to fully implement Positive Train Control, or PTC, control systems on their networks. PTC is a control system that uses Global Positioning

Congressional politics threaten PTC extension bill

Just when American railroads were perhaps starting to breathe a bit easier about the December 31st, 2015 Positive Train Control (PTC) deadline account the seeming agreement in the House of Representatives about extending the deadline to 2018 under a pending bill HR 3651,  new political roadblocks to passage appear to be arising.  On Wednesday October

Congress advances bill to delay Railroad PTC Mandate

The US House of Representatives has introduced legislation to delay until 2018 the current deadline for US railroads to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) systems on their tracks.  As discussed in a previous blog on the subject,  the nation’s railroads have jointly stated the physical impossibility of completing such an inter-operative system by the end

PHMSA/FAA Meet to Discuss Concerns on Lithium Battery Transport

The US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) held a joint public meeting in Washington, DC on September 18th.  The principal topic of discussion was the situation regarding the transport of lithium batteries via aircraft. This past summer, many individual airlines took action to limit the

PTC Alert! The Positive Train Control Deadline Creates a Potential Transportation Crisis

UPDATE: Congress advances bill to delay Railroad PTC Mandate  Will January 1, 2016 be the day the trains stop? As America’s railroads and Congress fail to agree on extending the December 31 deadline for implementing Positive Train Control systems, that threat inches closer to reality. The railroads have threatened to essentially shut down all service

ICAO releases new Addendum/Corrigendum updating Technical Instructions for Dangerous Goods

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has released a new Addendum and Corrigendum revising the 2015 – 2016 Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, commonly referred to as the ICAO TI or simply TI. The TI are the set of regulations that, together with national regulations like the 49 CFR

New DOT/PHMSA Interpretation Brings Some Clarity to the Lithium Ion Watts Issue

In a formal Letter of Interpretation dated August 19th, 2015 to Mr. Mike Revis USDOT/PHMSA stated categorically that a Lithium Ion Battery being shipped under the exceptions granted in 49 CFR 173.185(c) may have cells which feature watt hour ratings greater than 20 watt hours as long as the battery itself remains less than one

New FRA grant program to help state & local governments improve rail safety

In the Friday, September 04, 2015 edition of the Federal Register, the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced a new grant program.  Under the Railroad Safety Grants for the Safe Transportation of Energy Products by Rail Program (Step Rail), ten million dollars is being made available to local and state governments

Lufthansa becomes the latest airline to restrict lithium battery transport—and the strictest.

Lufthansa becomes the latest airline to restrict lithium battery transport—and the strictest

Transporting lithium batteries by air continues to get more challenging. Lufthansa has just imposed restrictions that go well beyond international regulations.   Here’s a breakdown of the new restrictions, effective August 31*: Complete embargo of excepted standalone lithium batteries from all aircraft. These shipments will no longer be accepted on any Lufthansa Group passenger or

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