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Check your Luggage Regulations Before Flying to Australia

Thursday 4th August 2011

Recent changes to rules about carrying electronic devices on board have been made by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority

Airline passengers are being warned about the dangers of carrying, or checking in certain types of batteries with their luggage. The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority has made changes to the regulations for carrying batteries on board flights. Due to the rise in popularity of gadgets that require lithium batteries, such as laptops, iPads, smart phones, cameras and iPods, a link between these and a rise in small dangerous goods incidents has been made. In certain conditions the new type of batteries can start fires as they can potentially short circuit under certain conditions. The risk is thought to be higher in these types of batteries than in the older types of rechargeable or dry cell batteries.

Cabin crews are trained in extinguishing cabin fires on flights, however if the fire occurs in an inaccessible cargo hold, it presents a much greater risk to the aircraft. In 2010, an airline crash in the United Arab Emirates was thought to be caused by a battery fire in the hold of a cargo plane which killed two pilots. After this disaster the US Federal Aviation Administration issued an urgent warning about the potential dangers of carrying shipments of lithium batteries.

In commercial flights, the problem is becoming more intense due to the increasing amount of travellers carrying electronic devices which use lithium batteries. The aviation authorities are now planning to warn passengers against checking the electronic devices into the aeroplane’s hold.  For more detailed information on what is allowed onboard an aircraft flying to Australia please see the Australian Civil Aviation Authority’s website.