Federal Aviation Administration Issues Guidance on Recalled Devices On Board Flights

There are several rules for airlines and passengers alike

Federal Aviation Administration Issues Guidance on Recalled Devices On Board Flights
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September 19, 2016

Now that Samsung has issued an official recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued general guidance on its rules about carrying recalled or defective lithium devices on board an aircraft either as cargo or in carry-on luggage.

Federal regulations on hazardous materials do not allow shipping recalled or defective lithium batteries and lithium battery-powered devices as air cargo. In addition, passengers are not allowed to either turn on or charge such devices when carrying them on board, and they also must protect them from activating by accident. Such activation prevention includes the disabling of any feature that may turn the device on, such as an alarm clock. Finally, passengers are not allowed to pack such devices in their checked luggage.

Together with a safety advisory issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the FAA has issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) to provide further guidance. The SAFO encourages airlines to make sure that all employees responsible for cargo and passenger processing, as well as those in charge of cabin safety, know about the rules; to make sure that cargo customers know about the rules; and to post on their websites any information and guidance regarding damaged or recalled lithium batteries and devices.

Finally, the SAFO does point out that hazardous material regulations do not prevent airlines from placing their own restrictions on the carrying and/or use of specific lithium battery products aboard their aircraft prior to the issue of an official government recall or advisory.