FAA pushes new proposal to ban laptops in checked luggage

Laptops could pose fire risk in cargo areas

By Rod Meloni - Reporter, CFP ®, Amber Ainsworth

ROMULUS, Mich. - A new proposal would ban laptops from checked luggage.

Fears that laptop batteries could overheat and start fires in cargo areas are prompting the proposal. An FAA test center video showed how an aerosol can could explode if a laptop heats up near toiletries in luggage.

Lithium ion batteries are causing the fears, and they were responsible for bringing down several UPS planes and a Jet Blue plane in Grand Rapids last May.

"The baggage cabin isn't pressurized; the chemicals that make up the battery become unstable. Lithium ion batteries especially shouldn't be put in the undercarriage of a plane,"  network engineer Gil Mayrand said.

The FAA has asked an international flight agency to consider the proposed ban.

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