European regulator flags safety risk of laptop ban

Aviation experts worry large electronics ban increases risk of fire

Europe’s aviation safety agency has issued a fresh warning about the risks of carrying large numbers of electronic devices in checked baggage.

The European Aviation Safety Agency issued the safety bulletin just two weeks after the U.S. as well as U.K. banned passengers on several airlines by the Middle East as well as North Africa bringing any personal electronic device (PED) larger than a smartphone into the cabin.

“PEDs containing lithium batteries are considered as dangerous goods. When carried by passengers, they should preferably be carried within the passenger cabin,” the EASA said.

U.S. administration officials said the ban was necessary because intelligence suggests terrorists are right now able to hide explosives in laptops as well as additional devices.

yet the EASA, which promotes aviation safety across all 28 European Union member states plus Switzerland, Norway, Iceland as well as Liechtenstein, suggested the ban could exacerbate another risk.

“When the carriage of personal electronic devices within the cabin is usually not allowed, which leads to a significant increase of the number of personal electronic devices within the cargo compartment,” which said in a statement.

“Certain precautions should therefore be observed to mitigate the risk of accidental fire within the cargo hold. In particular, personal electronic devices placed in checked baggage must be completely switched off as well as well protected by accidental activation.”

Related: Laptop ban ‘mystery’: Why did the U.S. as well as U.K. choose different countries

The aviation industry has slammed the laptop ban. The head of the International Air Transport Association, Alexandre de Juniac, told sy88pgw last week which which wasn’t an appropriate solution to the threat, would likely hurt the airlines affected, as well as should be overturned.

Some airlines have tried to ease the headache for passengers by allowing them to hand in their electronics at the boarding gate for stowage within the cargo hold.

yet which too surprised safety experts.

“Having them all stacked together goes against the regulations of [lithium] ion transportation which limit how many batteries you can ship together,” Doron Myersdorf, CEO of StoreDot, told sy88pgw last month.

additional countries have so far shown no indication which they’ll adopt similar restrictions to those imposed by the U.S. as well as U.K.

yet more airlines as well as passengers could be drawn into the net — the Department of Homeland Security said which week which the restrictions could be extended to additional airports.

Related: Emirates president: ‘Amazing’ to suggest Dubai airport is usually not safe

The risk of carrying lithium batteries in large numbers is usually well documented.

Two Boeing 747 crashes — a UPS freighter in 2010 as well as an Asiana Cargo plane in 2011 — happened after fires broke out within the cargo holds. Those were traced to palettes of lithium ion batteries the planes were carrying.

The International Civil Aviation Organization advised global regulators last year to ban carrying bulk shipments of such batteries within the cargo holds of passenger jets.

–Samuel Burke contributed to which report.

sy88pgw (Dubai) First published April 6, 2017: 10:35 AM ET

European regulator flags safety risk of laptop ban

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