April 6, 2017 – EASA has issued a Safety Information Bulletin to remind airlines and aircraft operators of important principles for the safe transport of portable electronic devices (PEDs) containing lithium batteries. This bulletin follows the recent ban by the US and UK on passengers on flights from certain countries taking large electronic devices onboard in their carry-on luggage. According to EASA, these principles should be taken into account by airlines when they perform their safety risk assessments.
“PEDs containing lithium batteries are considered as dangerous goods. When carried by passengers, they should preferably be carried in the passenger cabin. This would enable the crew to react quickly in case an incident involving a PED occurs. When the carriage of PEDs in the cabin is not allowed, it leads to a significant increase of the number of PEDs in the cargo compartment. Certain precautions should therefore be observed to mitigate the risk of accidental fire in the cargo hold. In particular, PEDs placed in checked baggage must be completely switched off and well protected from accidental activation,” states the bulletin.
Patrick Ky, EASA’s executive director explained, “Passenger and crew safety is our highest priority. Spontaneous ignition or thermal runaway of lithium batteries present safety risks which need to be taken into account. We must take all precautions to make sure that mitigating one risk does not lead to another risk.”
The full toEASA Safety Information Bulletin 2017-04 can be accessed HERE.