REMEMBER THE Samsung Galaxy Note 7? Remember the exploding batteries, quite often on aeroplanes?
Yeah, so does the US Senate, which this week announced a ban on products containing lithium-ion batteries from the hold of aircraft.
That means all your phones, tablets, computers, MP3 players and games consoles will need to be in your hand luggage, and yes, that means turning the whole lot out onto those frickin' trays to go through the metal detectors.
"This rule will strengthen safety for the travelling public by addressing the unique challenges lithium batteries pose in transportation," said US Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao, who announced the changes.
Further to this, batteries with more than 30 per cent charge will not be allowed on cargo planes, so unless it arrives completely drained (which never goes down well) that power bank you ordered from Amazon will have to travel by road, meaning Amazon Prime may struggle to find those hard-to-reach places in time.
So what's new - amiright?
Concern over the stability of lithium-ion batteries predates the Note 7 incident, and we've covered loads of exploding battery stories in the past. A similar rule already exists in China and Hong Kong - and we can testify first hand that you definitely will be called out to remove it if you forget.
With many smaller airlines dispensing with entertainment systems in favour of a BYOD approach, the safety implications could be overshadowed by some seriously long lines at airport security. Well, more so.
"PHMSA is enhancing passenger safety by permitting personal electronic devices onboard aircraft while ensuring cargo shipments of batteries are transported separately," said The U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)'s Administrator Howard "Skip" Elliott.
Although it sounds slightly backwards to put a potentially hazardous product even nearer to the passengers, it actually makes a lot more sense, because it will be spotted more quickly and cabin crew will be properly briefed on the best way to contain and extinguish it. That's the plan, anyway. μ
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