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12-30-2007, 10:06 AM   #1
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OT - New TSA Battery Rule

Hi Gang:

Starting January 1, 2008, there is a new rule regarding lithium batteries when flying. I don't know if any of this applies to aircraft outside the USA but apparently the new rule prohibits "loose" lithium batteries in CHECKED luggage and places some restrictions on such batteries in carry-on luggage. No problem if the batteries are actually installed in the device if I understand this correctly. Here's a couple of links explaining it all:

TSA: Safe Travel with Batteries and Devices

PHMSA - Home - PHMSA Press Release 11-07

Apparently it's a safety issue (fire potential) rather than a security one. Sounds reasonable enough but my concern is whether individual TSA agents will understand it. Especially regarding "grams of lithium content" that the rule mentions.


12-30-2007, 10:47 AM   #2
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If they're considered as safe when installed in a device it shouldn't take long for someone to manufacture a sturdy enough case for them and get it approved.

In all reality if there's a fire potential with them I'd feel safer with them in a case than in my pocket or camera bag anyways. And I imagine that most people would as well.
12-30-2007, 11:12 AM   #3
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don't worry

Here's an analysis by security expert Bruce Schneier:

Schneier on Security: New Lithium Battery Rules for U.S. Airplanes

The basic summary is that it's not really an issue unless you're packing big block batteries (maybe for flash equipment). In general, most of us will be fine.
12-30-2007, 12:05 PM   #4
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seems to be common sence

I see nothing wrong with the rules, they are comon sence, and safety, not really security rules. Keeping batteries separate form each other, covering terminals etc are fire safety things.

to be honest, I see more trouble with my 3 pound spare laptop battery

12-30-2007, 06:09 PM   #5
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The rule isn't that big a deal, and I don't think anybody will really have a problem with it. But how they try to enforce it could be. TSA agents aren't usually the sharpest tools in the shed and this leaves a lot of potential for them to do nothing more than seriously aggrevate people.

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