New rules limit lithium batteries for airline passengers
The new rule, issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation, prohibits the transport of spare lithium batteries in checked baggage, such as large suitcases given to an airline attendant for handling.
Spare batteries are regarded as extra batteries that are not installed in electronic devices.
Under the new rule, spare lithium batteries should be packed in carry-on baggage, provided the user takes measures to effectively insulate battery terminals. If original packaging is not available for spare batteries, user should isolate the batteries from contact with other batteries and metal. A loose battery should not be allowed to come in contact with metal objects such as coins, keys or jewelry.
By restricting spare batteries to carry-on baggage, an airline’s flight crew can better monitor conditions or have access to the batteries or electronic device if a fire does occur.
Various quantity limits apply to both spare and installed batteries transported on aircraft. The limits are expressed in grams of “equivalent lithium content.” For instance, 8 grams of equivalent lithium content is approximately 100 watt-hours, while 25 grams is about 300 watt-hours.
The new rules allow batteries with up to 8 grams of equivalent lithium content. All lithium-ion batteries in cell phones, as well as nearly all laptop-computer batteries, are less than this equivalent.
For additional information about the new rules for lithium batteries, including a list of expanded requirements, visit http:// safetravel.dot.gov/.