Aviation Authorities Want To Ban Laptops In Checked Bags

The Federal Aviation Administration is recommending a global ban on laptops and other large electronics in checked luggage.
Posted at 9:50 AM, Oct 22, 2017

You may not be able to put your laptop in checked bags much longer.

The Federal Aviation Administration is recommending a global ban on laptops and other large electronics in checked luggage due to the fire hazard posed by their lithium ion batteries.

The recommendation is directed at the United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization, but it'll be up to individual countries on whether to implement any kind of ban.

The recommendation follows a series of tests conducted by the Fire Safety Branch of the FAA.

Researchers placed laptops in bags with things like clothes and shoes. The computers' lithium ion cells were placed next to heaters and forced into "thermal runaway" to start fires.

In four of the 10 tests, the fire was contained and eventually self-extinguished.

But researchers also conducted the test with aerosols next to the laptops and found that combination runs a serious risk of creating explosions that can't be contained and could lead to the loss of an aircraft.

Aviation authorities say not many people carry large lithium ion-powered electronics in checked baggage anyway.

Still, the FAA says the most effective way to prevent an explosion is to consider requiring laptops and other large electronics be carried on board with passengers.