United States seeks electronic ban for checked luggage

Commercial airplane in the air

Commercial airplane in the air Greg Bajor Getty Images

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a worldwide ban on laptops in checked baggage on global flights, citing a recent report about the flammable risk of lithium-ion batteries.

The worldwide Civil Aviation Organisation is responsible for setting global aviation standards. A heater was set against the lithium ion cell to force the battery to overheat.

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The FAA conducted 10 tests of laptops inside of suitcases.

In tests, the fire spread so quickly that the Halon gas fire suppressant systems used in airline cargo compartments were unable to put out the fire before the explosion. The experiments saw fires develop nearly immediately, and the aerosol cans exploded in less than one minute. The proposed ban is set to be discussed this week and next.

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Some exceptions to the restrictions could be made for planes that have advanced fire suppression systems, according to Gizmodo.

Nail polish remover, hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol all resulted in fires too.

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"The European Safety Agency, the FAA's counterpart in Europe; Airbus, one of the world's largest makers of passenger airliners; the International Federation of Airline Pilots' Association, and the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Association, which represents aircraft makers, concurred in the recommendation", the paper further elaborated. Requiring that these items be carried on in airplane cabins remains the simplest method, according to the FAA.

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