Response to In-Flight Fires Involving Portable Electronic Devices
Portable Electronic Devices (PED) containing lithium batteries and external lithium batteries such as power banks can catch fire and explode if poorly manufactured, faulty or misused. PED fires have occurred in the passenger cabin with the potential to cause serious injury to a passenger or crew member. Such an event on the flight deck could significantly disrupt the operation of the aircraft and cause serious injury to flight crew.
Aircraft operators are asked to review the safety risk assessment conducted as required under AMC2 CAT.GEN.MPA.140(c) and consider whether new products designed for use in the emergency response are warranted. Further information is published on our Dangerous Goods pages.
Dated: November 2018
Specialist Paper: Emergency Evacuation of Commercial Passenger Planes
Paper by the Royal Aeronautical Society
Dated: May 2018
Safety requirements for portable electronic devices placed on board by the operator
Controlled portable electronic devices (C-PEDs) containing lithium batteries, and external lithium batteries (including power banks) can catch fire and explode if poorly manufactured, faulty or misused.
Such devices are subject to safety design and operational standards and similar requirements apply to lithium battery powered products taken on board aircraft for retail sale to passengers.
The applicable safety and operational requirements are available on the CAA website.
Aircraft operators are asked to verify that:
- appropriate safety documentation is held for all portable electronic devices taken on board by the operator;
- the in-flight sale procurement process addresses these requirements; and
- conditions for the carriage and use of these electronic devices is provided in the operations manual and/or other appropriate manuals
Dated: April 2018
Please review dangerous goods information provided to passengers
The improper carriage of dangerous goods by passengers poses a risk to flight safety.
Airport operators, air operators and ground handling agents must ensure that information on the types of dangerous goods which passengers are forbidden to transport aboard an aircraft is communicated effectively to them. The CAA has a new notice that is available for use which shows which dangerous goods which are prohibited, those which may only be carried in the cabin and those which are only permitted on one’s person.
The poster and further guidance on the requirements is available on the CAA website.
Dated: April 2018
Guidance of portable electronic devices
The UK Civil Aviation Authority keeps all rules and regulations under constant review to ensure they remain current and based on the latest research and information available. Our priority is always the safety of passengers and crew and we continue to work with airlines, manufacturers and international regulators to drive improvements in safety standards across the industry.
The widespread use of portable electronic devices, including laptops, mobile phones and tablets, means that more people are travelling with items powered by lithium batteries. Lithium batteries can catch fire if they have been damaged, subjected to short circuit, charged with a different charger to that supplied, or if a portable electronic device overheats. Carriage of portable electronic devices in the cabin is strongly recommended. If carriage within hold baggage proves necessary passengers and operators should ensure that devices are switched off completely (not left in stand-by mode), protected from inadvertent operation or damage, for example by using a rigid suitcase and/or cushioning material such as clothing, and not packed near to aerosols or perfumes or other permitted flammable products. Spare batteries, including power banks, must never be placed within hold baggage.
Dated: September 2017
Electronic devices in seat mechanism fire hazard
Recently there have been a small number of incidents of phones and tablets catching fire on board aircraft worldwide. Causes included crushing in the aircraft seat mechanism.
Operators of aircraft with seats featuring electrical or mechanical means of adjusting position should consider briefing passengers to take care of their personal electronic devices.
Passengers should also be told that, if this happens, they should not move the seat and inform the cabin crew, who can assist. Cabin crew procedures should be amended accordingly, including an explanation that assistance from engineering may be needed on the ground.
Dated: December 2016
Cabin crew injured by exploding fridge caused by incorrect use of dry ice
KNKT Investigation Report
Dated: December 2016
EASA – Lithium Batteries and Dangerous Goods
Dated: September 2016
Fire in Cabin from Credit Card Reader – NASA Alert Bulletin
Passenger Awareness of Lithium Battery Issues – IFALPA Position Paper
Dated: December 2015
Small Vehicles Powered by Lithium Batteries – Passenger Background Provisions- IATA
Dated: 4 January 2016
PEDs and Lithium Batteries
IATA has issued revised Guidance on the Expanded Use of Passenger Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs)
Updated Lithium Battery Fire Fighting Procedures are in the IATA Cabin Operations Best Practices Guide (See section 3.38) and will be included in the 2015 ICAO Doc 9481
Communication in Aircraft Cabin Safety: Lessons Learned and Lessons Required
Paul D. Krivonos – California State University, Northridge – 14 February 2005
Posted: October 2011
UKFSC Guide to Handling Disruptive Passengers Updated January 2011
Posted: July 2011
Aircraft Cabin Air Sampling Report – Cranfield University
Dated: May 2011
Int. J. Risk Assessment & Management Article – Flight Crew Stress and Fatigue in Low Cost Commerical Operations – An Appraisal
Dated: January 2004
UKFSC Working Group – Guide to Handling Disruptive Passengers
DTLR – Guidance Material: Protection of Air Crew from Cosmic Radiation
Dated: December 2001
Use of Child Restraint Devices in Aircraft
Dated: December 2001
Air Navigation Order 2000 – Child Restraints in public transport
Dated: September 2001