Sept. 21, 2016

The FAA and DOT recently issued safety notices related to the Galaxy Note 7, after Samsung recalled the device for safety reasons. Federal hazardous materials regulations prohibit airline passengers and crewmembers from traveling with lithium cells, batteries or portable electronic devices that have been identified by the manufacturer as being defective for safety reasons.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone is the latest device to highlight the need for aircraft operators to be prepared to respond to overheating lithium ion (LiON) batteries, which are frequently used to power portable electronic devices, on aircraft. Defective batteries or batteries charged improperly can experience thermal runaways leading to overheating and ignition.

“NBAA strongly recommends business aircraft operators make their passengers aware of the dangers of improperly transported or defective lithium ion batteries,” said Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs. “Lithium ion batteries safely power a variety of devices that we rely on every day. However, operators need to prepare for the chance that any LiON battery can malfunction.”

Operators are encouraged to develop and implement policies regarding the safe transportation of the Galaxy Note 7, using current airline policies as guidance.

To carry a Galaxy Note 7 onboard:

  • Turn off the device
  • Disconnect it from any charging equipment and do not charge the battery in-flight
  • Use caution to ensure the phone isn’t unintentionally activated or turned on
  • Do not transport the device in baggage areas inaccessible from the cabin

Aircraft operators should also use caution while carrying spare lithium ion batteries. The DOT requires spare lithium ion batteries be protected from damage and short circuit by placing the spare batteries in original packaging; using tape to cover the terminals of the battery; or placing each battery in a separate container.

NBAA has represented its membership in numerous FAA-industry working groups to develop policies and procedures for carrying lithium battery devices and the use of lithium ion batteries to power various aircraft systems. The association has also provided guidance to the FAA regarding permanently installed lithium batteries on transport category aircraft.

Review the FAA’s Safety Alert for Operators on lithium batteries.