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Thread: BALPA Comments On Laptop Ban Risk

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    Lightbulb BALPA Comments On Laptop Ban Risk

    ATW Online; Monday 15 May 2017
    UK pilot union speaks out on laptop ban risk
    The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), which represents UK flight crew, has warned that banning laptops in the cabin creates “catastrophic fire” potential.

    In a statement issued May 14, BALPA said increasing restrictions on laptops and tablets may have a dangerous knock-on effect, compromising safety.

    “Given the risk of fire from these devices when they are damaged or they short circuit, an incident in the cabin would be spotted earlier and this would enable the crew to react quickly before any fire becomes uncontainable. If these devices are kept in the hold, the risk is that if a fire occurs the results can be catastrophic. Indeed, there have been two crashes where lithium batteries have been cited in the accident reports,” BALPA flight safety specialist Steve Landells said.

    BALPA warned that extending the measures, which have already been imposed on flights from certain countries to the UK and US, would increase the impact from a “handful of flights” to “hundreds of flights a day,” vastly increasing the risk of a fire in the hold.

    “We don’t doubt the security threats that have led to consideration of extending the ban on devices, but we urge authorities to carefully assess the additional fire risk from storing more personal electronic devices in the hold to ensure we’re not solving one problem by creating a worse one,” Landells said.


    Modern electronic devices - such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones - are powered by lithium batteries that, when faulty or when short circuited, can cause fires that spread quickly. Therefore, ICAO advises these devices should be kept in the cabin.

    The ban has also been criticized for creating commercial distortions.

    In March, IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac had said the US and UK measures were “not an acceptable long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate,” adding, “Even in the short term it is difficult to understand their effectiveness. And the commercial distortions they create are severe. We [IATA] call on governments to work with the industry to find a way to keep flying secure without separating passengers from their personal electronics … We must find a better way. And governments must act quickly.”

    By: Victoria Moores
    That's BALPA adding their voice to the position already taken by ICAO and IATA. Time for the USA and UK governments to have a review.
    Last edited by No Smoking; May 16th, 2017 at 00:49.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: BALPA Comments On Laptop Ban Risk

    ATW Online; Wednesday 31 May 2017
    Smoking laptop forces JetBlue A320 to make emergency landing
    A JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 flying transcontinental made an emergency landing May 30 in Grand Rapids, Michigan after a passenger’s laptop computer emitted smoke.

    Flight 915 operating from New York JFK to San Francisco was diverted “following reports of smoke emitting from a carry-on bag holding a laptop computer,” JetBlue said in an emailed statement. “Crewmembers took actions consistent with their training to make sure the situation was contained. The flight landed safely and the aircraft was inspected before customers continued on to San Francisco.”

    JetBlue said FAA is investigating the incident. FAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The incident occurred as the fire hazard from lithium batteries in passengers’ laptop computers gains more notice amid talk of the US government extending its ban on passengers carrying large electronic devices aboard aircraft to more airports.

    By: Aaron Karp
    Proves BALPA point against placing laptops in cargo compartments.
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