In order to protect air passengers from the dangers of lithium batteries, the U.S Department of Transportation…
Jul 9, 2019
We’ve all seen it in the news – lithium batteries have the potential to be a safety risk, especially on passenger planes. Although the likelihood of a fire caused by lithium batteries during air transportation is low, in the event it does occur, the damage would be disastrous.
In order to protect air passengers from the dangers of lithium batteries, the U.S Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued new rules in February 2019.
The good news – they are simple:
Lithium Ion cells and batteries must be kept with carry-on luggage only.
Lithium Ion cells and batteries that are shipped may be at 30% or lower battery charge on cargo-only aircraft.
More specifically, the FAA’s current Fact Sheet – Lithium Batteries in Baggage states:
“Devices containing lithium metal batteries or lithium ion batteries, including – but not limited to – smartphones, tablets, cameras and laptops, should be kept in carry-on baggage. If these devices are packed in checked baggage, they should be turned completely off, protected from accidental activation and packed so they are protected from damage.”
Fortunately for aircraft passengers, little travel adjustments are needed as long as the personal battery-powered items listed above are kept close in carry-on luggage. However, consumers who purchase lithium batteries online will notice that they may arrive without a full charge due to the 30% or lower battery charge requirement.
And according to Tech Crunch, “in 2016, the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Authority put similar restrictions in place for all member countries in an effort to prevent the risk of in-flight cargo hold fires.”
The new rules are designed to maximize passenger safety during air travel.
Most travelers will agree with stating that when it comes to aircraft passenger safety, you can never take too many precautions. The new rule for passengers is easy to follow - keep those small electronic with you and out of your checked luggage, easy as that.