FAA: Ban Laptops From Baggage Holds, Not Cabins

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Just months ago, government security agencies were contemplating a ban of electronic devices larger than a cellphone from airliner cabins, but this week, the FAA is calling for the opposite. In a paper filed with the International Civil Aviation Organization, the FAA said its tests show that large electronic devices such as laptops can cause fires that could overwhelm the fire suppression system airline baggage holds are equipped with. The paper said such a fire could be serious enough to result in a hull loss. 

Last summer, the Department of Homeland Security was considering banning laptops from airliner cabins of inbound international flights because of what it described as potential terrorist threats. The agency encountered plenty of pushback and decided not to pursue the ban, which would have displaced laptops from the cabin to baggage holds. The FAA's proposed baggage hold ban will be on the agenda at an ICAO conference on dangerous goods to be held in Montreal next week.

Comments (1)

Lithium Batteries are getting a bad wrap. The culprit is the BMS or Battery Management System. Small packs use the cheaper passive type has no balance function. (Only the active type can do that)
Over charging or high heat can cause the solid oxygen in the cells to revert back to a gas which can burn when ignited or cause pillowing. If the expanded cell is opened and placed in a flame - it will not burn because the 02 is gone.
When batteries are shipped - they are charged to the storage capacity of 3.0v so there is no danger. When the consumer gets ready for their departure - they want that FULL charge. Even so, something still has to spark that initial flame which requires a rapid discharge of the cells or a puncture. Some lithium cells are designed so they will not burn even if the cells are cut or poked with a metal object.
So when you see the shocking test of laptops burning - ask your self - what did they do to cause the fire? They just don't just burst into flames when the camera is ready!
All consumers need to know to be safe is don't try to get that last FULL charge in any device before traveling on any flights and make sure the cooling vents are not blocked when you are using them and you will be fine.
Note: Never use checked luggage for anything valuable. And count on luggage abuse which could damage an electronic device and possibly set the stage for combustion.

Posted by: Don Lineback | October 23, 2017 7:50 AM    Report this comment

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