Exploding batteries on planes: Rare and small risk


Other analyses using data visualization software provided by Tableau Software Inc. show that:

The FAA data, while incomplete, is significant because it provides support -- or lack thereof -- for proposed new DOT restrictions around the air freight shipment of battery-powered devices, as well as fliers carrying spare alkaline or nickel-metal-hydride batteries in their checked-in luggage.

The DOT proposal is an extension of the 2008 FAA ban against lithium batteries in checked luggage.

The PRBA favors stricter enforcement of existing rules, rather than stricter new rules. The proposed rules would disrupt global supply chains by making U.S. regulations stricter than the rest of the world. That would raise costs for manufacturers and air carriers, which would pass on those higher costs to consumers, especially online buyers, and create unnecessary hassle for fliers, said George Kerchner, executive director of the PRBA.

A source in the airline and carrier industry, who asked not to be named, agreed. "The DOT has significantly underestimated the number of packages that would be affected, and the cost that would be incurred by consumers and industries."

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