"> IATA Regulations on Battery-powered Devices in Airplanes

IATA Regulations on Battery-powered Devices in Airplanes

July 07, 2018

Often, there is a need to carry one or the other battery powered device in the airplanes. Some of the most common items that have batteries are: wheelchairs, laptops, cameras and mobile phones. For the sake of safety of passengers and in the wake of some incidents involving these battery powered devices catching fire or exploding, IATA has regulated the carriage of these items. It has defined and categorized the different types of batteries and provided how these are to be carried in airplanes. 

The following table shows the regulations with respect to carriage of powered wheelchairs:

Non-spillable wet Batteries Non-Removable Battery
1. Battery(ies) to be kept in the device. Shall be securely attached to the Wheelchair/Mobility aid.
2. The battery terminals must be insulated (e.g. by taping).
3. The wheelchair/mobility aid must be switched off. Due care shall be taken to protect it from accidental activation.
Removable battery
1. The battery(ies) must be removed.
2. The removed battery(ies) shall have terminals insulated. These shalll be taken in a strong, rigid protective packaging.
3. The battery(ies) in the protective pouch must be checked in.
Spillable Batteries Wheelchair / Mobility Aid that can be stored in an upright position
1. Battery(ies) to be kept in the device. Shall be securely attached to the Wheelchair/Mobility aid. Battery shall be placed in a protective container.
2. The battery terminals must be insulated (e.g. by taping).
3. The wheelchair/mobility aid must be switched off. Due care shall be taken to protect it from accidental activation.
Wheelchair / Mobility Aid cannot be stowed in an upright position
1. The battery(ies) must be removed and carried in a strong, rigid, leak-proof packaging. These have to be checked in. The wheelchair/mobility aid may then be checked-in without restriction.
2. The battery terminals must be insulated (e.g. by taping).
3. The battery(ies) must be secured upright in a protective packaging and surrounded by compatible absorbent material.
4. These packages must be marked “BATTERY WET, with WHEELCHAIR” or “BATTERY WET, WITH MOBILITY AID” and be labelled with the “CORROSIVE” label and with “Package Orientation” label to be provided by the PASSENGER.
Dry Cell Batteries 1. No restriction.
2. The wheelchair/mobility aid shall be checked in.
3. The wheelchair/mobility aid must be switched off and protected from accidental activation.
Lithium Batteries Lithium batteries must be of a type which meets the requirement of each test in the UN Manual of Test and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3
Non-Removable Battery
1. Battery(ies) to be kept in the device. Shall be securely attached to the Wheelchair/Mobility aid.
2. The battery terminals must be insulated (e.g. by taping).
3. The wheelchair/mobility aid must be switched off and protected from accidental activation.
4. No battery power rating (WH) limitation.
Removable Battery
1. The battery(ies) must be removed and protected from short circuit by insulating the terminals. The wheelchair/mobility aid may then be checked-in without restriction.
2. The removed battery(ies) must be protected from damage by placing them individually in a protective pouch, provided by the passenger and carried as cabin baggage.
3. The battery terminals must be protected from short circuits by insulating the terminals (e.g. by taping over exposed terminals).
4. The power rating of the single battery powered device must not exceed 300Wh, or 160Wh each for those fitted with two battery powered ones.
5. Single spare battery of max 300Wh, or two spare batteries max 160Wh are allowed. They must be carried as cabin baggage.
*Watt hours (Wh) = Amp hours (Ah) x Voltage (V)






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