Home » Uncategorized » Tougher regulations in the pipeline for airborne battery-powered devices
airport-security

Tougher regulations in the pipeline for airborne battery-powered devices

TSA Employees ravage through travelers
laptop bags at a security checkpoint.

Travel laws for those with a laptop, smartphone or battery powered mobile device are once again about to get stickier, even shipments of said devices may get more expensive due to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s proposal regarding the transportation of small, battery powered devices by air.

Passengers traveling by air will be affected as the rules pertaining to extra lithium-ion batteries in your checked-in luggage will now affect alkaline and nickel metal-hydride batteries.  Any battery must be inside the device to be allowed in checked in luggage.  Extra batteries will be allowed in carry-on luggage.

There have always been exceptions on small lithium cells and batteries, which were stated to be less than 100 watts/hr, most laptop batteries carry 60-80 watts/hr. Small lithium batteries are in class 9 of hazardous material, it is a miscellaneous category including dry ice and magnetized goods.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that by not having the exceptions it is going to force vendors and transport companies to use better quality packaging.

“Under existing regulations, a flight crew may not be made aware of a pallet containing thousands of lithium batteries on board the aircraft, yet a five-pound package of flammable paint or dry ice would be subject to the full scope of the regulations,” said Minnesota Democratic representative and House Transportation and Infrastructure chairman, Jim Oberstar, in a statement. “That makes little sense.”

A complete copy of the Department of Transportation’s proposal can be found here.

George Kerchner, the executive director of Portable Rechargeable Battery Association in Washington D.C. has said “It will be a nightmare for passengers.”

Kerchner feels that we would be better off with stricter enforcement of the existing rules, not implementing new ones.  These changes could affect everything from button battery-powered hearing aids – tools – defibrillators and (brace yourself) your next shipment of iPads.

Kerchner said that if the U.S. creates stricter rules than the International Civil Aviation Organization, who is in charge of the rest of the world, it will be a huge financial hardship on manufacturers and shippers by changing/increasing the packaging, labels, and shipping details.  Not to mention the monstrous costs of all the workers here and overseas that will have to be “fully regulated hazmat” training.

“We’re talking about billions of dollars,” he also implied that any new costs would most  likely be passed on to the customers.

He did acknowledge the department’s data that there were 40 air transport related incidents since 1991 that did involve lithium batteries and devices that were powered by lithium batteries;  Kerchner stated that it is a small number compared to the 3.3 billion that were actually transported in 2008.

About Colleen McColl

Check Also

wii-oculus-rift-hoverboard

Try Oculus Rift And Wii To Roam Around On The Back To The Future Hoverboard

Check out how you can fly in virtual space by using an Oculus Rift and a Wii Balance Board.

131129-amz

Amazon Appstore for Android Holiday Deals, Including Free Apps

There are tons of deals from the Amazon Appstore that will be offered starting now and throughout the holiday shopping season. They say that they will have "hundreds of titles that are eitehr free... or available between 50-90% off" the regular price.

131129-google

Black Friday: Google Play Store Apps, Games and Content on Sale All Weekend

Case in point, if you head over to the Google Play Store right now, you'll find that Google is celebrating all Cyber Weekend with discounts on all sorts of content. This includes many popular apps and games

131129-gtab

Black Friday Deal: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-Inch for $100 Off

Did you manage to score any epic Black Friday deals this morning? Are you still ...

131128-diy

Arduino Co-Creator Releases Plans for $200 DIY Mobile Phone

Mellis was one of the people who came up with the now hugely popular Arduino platform and now he has come up with plans for people to build their own cell phone for about $200 in parts.

131128-apple

No Discounts for Apple Black Friday, Just Free Gift Cards

If you were hoping to save yourself some cash as you brave the Black Friday shopping crowds, you'll want to go somewhere other than the official Apple Stores.