FAA Proposes Worldwide Laptop Ban in Luggage
(But maybe not for domestic flights.)
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a worldwide ban on laptops in checked baggage on international flights, citing a recent report about the flammable risk of lithium-ion batteries.
The lithium-ion batteries that are common in laptops have been found to combust in confined spaces. If they were to catch fire in the checked luggage area of an aircraft, there would be no way to contain the flames.
The FAA conducted 10 tests, and in one, in which an aerosol can was packed alongside a laptop, the computer burst into flames almost immediately.
In-flight fires caused by these batteries or made worse by their proximity have destroyed three cargo jets and killed four pilots since 2006, the Associated Press reported.
FAA filed its findings with the United Nations, and is pushing international airlines to respond. It is unclear whether the FAA will lobby to have these rules applied to domestic flights as well as international routes.
Some exceptions to the restrictions could be made for planes that have advanced fire suppression systems, according to Gizmodo.
The push to change policy is in conflict with the so-called laptop ban in March that restricted travelers flying to the U.S. from several Middle Eastern airports from bringing large electronics in their carry-ons. That forced passengers to check laptops and other large items of technology. The U.S. government at the time said they were responding to a credible threat that terrorists were developing a bomb that could disguised inside large electronics.
The U.N. is set to discuss the proposal next week, according to Fortune.