The European Aviation Safety Agency (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. These principles should be taken into account by the airlines when they perform their safety risk assessment.
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 such 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.
"Passengers and crews 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," said Patrick Ky, EASA's Executive Director.