Large Personal Electronic Devices may be banned from check-in luggage

Very soon passengers might be banned from carrying large personal electronic devices (PED) such as laptops in their check-in luggage. Authorities are mulling over this issue in order to prevent battery fires that could lead to mishaps. Global aviation agencies are already considering the matter at a week-long meet in Montreal.

As of now, PEDs like cell phones, tablets and laptops are allowed in carry-on and checked-in baggage but power banks, portable mobile chargers and e-cigarettes are banned in check-in baggage in India.

According to media reports, India may also follow suit once a decision is taken by any leading aviation agency.

European regulators too in the past had warned that hundreds of devices in the hold on long-haul flights could potentially compromise safety by increasing the risk of fire from poorly deactivated lithium-ion batteries. Reports state that a mobile phone caught fire on a Delhi-Indore flight, but the cabin crew efficiently swept in and doused the fire.

"The outcome of the testing indicates that large PEDs in checked baggage mixed with an aerosol can produce an explosion and fire that the aircraft cargo fire suppression system in Class C cargo compartments may not be able to safely manage", reads the report.

Reports state that the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) risky goods panel is now examining a paper on "PEDs carried by passengers and crew" to address safety issues of PEDs being carried in luggage.

The International Civil Aviation Organization's risky goods panel meeting in Montreal is examining a paper that mentions that a fire starting from PED kept in cargo could lead to loss of the aircraft.

For the report, the FAA conducted a series of tests packing a fully charged laptop computer in a suitcase under different scenarios - varying the type of suitcase used and the contents of the luggage.

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