Published: Fri, October 20, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

U.S. seeks electronic ban for checked luggage

U.S. seeks electronic ban for checked luggage

Laptops could be banned from checked baggage on planes due to a fire risk under a proposal being recommended by an International Air Safety Panel. The test proved that Halon gas fire suppressant systems that are used by airlines would be unable to put out the fire, according to the FAA.

The FAA conducted 10 tests of laptops inside of suitcases. After heating the battery, a fire broke out nearly immediately and an explosion came within 40 seconds. The now permitted shampoo ignited from the overheating battery and caused a fire that could not be extinguished by a cargo-hold fire suppression system typical of most airlines. While the explosion likely wouldn't be enough to take down the plane, the lack of fire suppression would allow the blaze to spread, causing the catastrophic issues the FAA is addressing. This proposed ban is on their agenda during their panel's meeting on risky goods in Montreal this week. Other tests found similar results with other "dangerous goods" like nail polish remover, hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol.

Three cargo jets have been destroyed and four pilots have been killed since 2006 by in-flight fires which according to investigators were started by batteries.


FAA filed its findings with the United Nations, and is pushing worldwide airlines to respond.

Previously, lobbyists for lithium battery makers have urged the change.

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