Many unaware of battery restrictions on flights: CAA

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Nov 20, 2012 - Page 3

Although the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) has decreed that airline passengers can only carry spare lithium batteries in carry-on luggage, many travelers are not aware of the regulation, resulting in about 3,700 violations of the regulation at the two main international airports last month.

The CAA amended related regulations on carrying lithium batteries in 2009, in line with a request by the International Air Transport Association (IATA),

To prevent accidents caused by short-circuiting batteries, the regulations state that passengers carrying spare lithium ion batteries with a watt-hour (Wh) rating of between 100 and 160 should report them to airline authorities and should carry no more than two batteries.

As for consumer electronic devices containing lithium or lithium ion batteries (such as batteries in watches, cameras, cellphones or laptops) with no more than 2g of lithium content and 100Wh of power, they may be carried on board, but spare batteries should be enclosed in separate cases to avoid short-circuiting.

Despite the regulations, statistics from the Aviation Police Office showed that last month, about 2,500 cases of passengers leaving their lithium batteries in checked luggage were found at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and about 1,200 cases were found at Kaohsiung International Airport.

According to the IATA’s Lithium Battery Guidance Document, based on its revised Dangerous Good Regulations for next year, methods to protect against short circuits include packing each battery in fully enclosed packaging made of non-conductive material (such as plastic bags), separating batteries to prevent contact with other batteries or other conductive materials and protecting the battery terminals with non-conductive caps or tape.