Wednesday, January 02, 2008

New FAA restriction on Lithium batteries

The FAA has just enacted new rules. Lithium batteries may not be transported in checked bags. They may be in carry-on bags, as long as they are not too large. Lithium batteries not installed in devices should be transported in insulated containers, like plastic bags, to prevent short circuits.

Read the article for all the details (including what defines "too large").

According to a DOT press release, this is an issue of safety, not security. The FAA has determined that the fire suppression systems installed in commercial cargo bays can not put out a lithium fire.


JamesQMurphy said...

I'm wondering how this is even enforceable. Ya think this just gives the Feds an excuse to tear into your luggage?

Shamino said...

From what I've seen on various TV documentaries, airport baggage scanners are not simple 1940's style X-ray machines. They use a variety of wavelengths and have a database of object-signatures, allowing them to identify objects with a high degree of accuracy.

It wouldn't surprise me if Lithium batteries scan differently from other similarly-shaped devices.