There is no doubt that lithium-ion batteries, when packed together without the proper packaging and handling precautions, can certainly be dangerous. In 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration applied heat to a container packed with 5,000 lithium-ion batteries that resulted in a thermal runaway and subsequent explosion of flammable gases emitted within the container. Even a favorite fire suppressant, when used, was ineffective in extinguishing the fire. The danger appears to be inherent in all aircraft configurations, passenger or all-cargo.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration posted a bright outlook in its annual market review and forecast, noting that it expects total air cargo traffic, measured in revenue tonne kilometers, to grow by 4.5 percent in 2016, followed by stable growth averaging 3.5 percent over the next 20 years.
For the first time in more than 50 years, the skies over Cuba are opening up to scheduled service from the United States. The two countries signed a deal, officially allowing flights between their borders.
California-based drone manufacturer, Matternet, plus DHL's "parcelcopter" prototype unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), both plan to begin testing their airworthiness with actual payloads in the next two months.
Despite its history of political unrest and military juntas, the nation of Thailand is emerging as a major Southeast Asian logistics hub that could be worth nearly $100bn in revenue over the next few years, according to a December 2015 study released by worldwide consultants Frost & Sullivan.
As we draw toward a close of a volatile 2015 that saw airfreight demand skyrocket in the early months only to cool down and stagnate for much of the rest of the year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is predicting continued sluggishness for most of 2016, thanks to continued weak growth in world trade, a slowdown in China, falling commodity prices, and an expected interest rate hike in the United States.