Canada, Oct 22: The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has mooted a plan to ban laptops from checked baggage on flights to avoid possibility of fire under a proposal being recommended by a global air safety panel, a media report said.
The ICAO will decide on the suggestion at its meeting scheduled later this month, a CNN report said.
The recommendation was made by its Dangerous Goods Panel which considered laptops as dangerous for flights. However, even if the ICAO endorsed the proposal, it would be up to the regulators in individual countries to pass rules to enforce the recommendation.
As per the proposal an overheating laptop battery could cause a significant blaze in the cargo hold that fire-fighting equipment aboard the plane would be unable to extinguish. And this might lead to the loss of the aircraft, the report said.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not commented on the proposal. But it is represented on the panel that is supporting the ban, and its research on the risk of fires from laptops is included in the proposal.
The concern that lithium batteries pose a fire hazard on planes is not new, reports CNN.
There have been studies on the risk of fires on planes posed by lithium batteries going back years. In 2015 US airlines banned hover boards from their planes due to concerns about the fire risk posed by their lithium batteries.
The fear that terrorists could try to hide explosives in laptops prompted the US Department of Homeland Security to ban laptops from the cabin of planes coming from certain international airports earlier this year.
However, those rules banning laptops from cabins have been removed for most of those airports due to new screening procedures.