Stop putting power banks, spare batteries in checked luggage, warns IATA
Sydney – There is a growing focus in the airline industry on the risks related to passengers carrying portable electronic devices (PEDs) in their check-in luggage, according to Gilberto Lopez Meyer, senior vice-president for safety and flight operations at the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
An analysis of surveys conducted found that many passengers are carrying prohibited items in their checked baggage. Power banks and spare batteries especially are higher risk items.
For this reason IATA is currently carrying out an intensive awareness campaign in an effort to improve compliance with existing regulations. The organisation is assisting airlines to communicate the risks to passengers.
Lopez Meyer said there certainly are more safety risks with these kinds of PEDs in checked baggase.
IATA has been working with the International Civil Aviation Organisation to gain a better understanding of the risk profile regarding PEDs in checked luggage. The organisation recently conducted two surveys, one focused on airlines and one on travellers.
The surveys found that incidents relating to the carrying of PEDs in checked baggage were very low, but the exposure to risk is potentially high.
According to Lopez Meyer, it is unclear why the non-compliance regarding carrying these items in checked baggage is so high. IATA thinks it may be due to a lack of awareness of regulations or a lack of awareness of the consequences.
Giving a general aviation safety overview, Lopez Meyer said that since the beginning of 2018 there have been 45 aviation accidents in the world – the lowest since 2005. Eleven of these involved IATA members.
IATA members keep performing well, with an accident rate below the overall industry figure, he said.
There is room for improvement, said Lopez Meyer. Six of the fatal accidents in 2017 involved turboprop planes and cargo flights, while five commercial airlines had fatal accidents so far in 2018.
So far this year there have been five fatal accidents – three involving jets and two turboprops.
“Every fatality is one too many. The focus is on long-term safety trends of five years and more in order to get a fuller picture of the industry’s safety performance,” said Lopez Meyer.
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