New Law Restricts Airline Travel With Lithium Batteries - InformationWeek

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1/4/2008
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Jim Manico
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New Law Restricts Airline Travel With Lithium Batteries

InformationWeek, U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administation

Following a long string of lithium battery explosions and recalls, a new federal safety law went into effect Jan. 1 that limits the number of spare lithium batteries airline passengers can bring on-board and mandates how they must be stored.The good news, particularly for frequent business travelers: You can still carry on your laptop, cell phone, PDA and other electronic devices already installed with batteries. But only two backup batteries are now permitted on-board per passenger, and they must be stored in plastic bags or their original packaging.

Loose batteries going into check-in luggage must be stored the same way.

"Doing something as simple as keeping a spare battery in its original retail packaging or a plastic zip-lock bag will prevent unintentional short-circuiting and fires," said Krista Edwards, deputy administrator of the PHMSA, in a statement.

According to InformationWeek, flight crews can better monitor a fire that ignites in carry-on baggage since they have access to fire extinguishers.InformationWeek, U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administation

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