Why a certain type of laptop has been banned on aircraft

An emergency flying ban has been put on hundreds of thousands of laptops amid fears they could burst into flames.

The Federal Aviation Administration in the USA has banned certain MacBook Pro laptops on flights following an announcement by Apple Inc that some contain batteries that may be a fire or safety risk.

In June Apple announced a voluntary recall of laptops sold between September 2015 and February 2017 and can be identified by their product serial numbers. Apple wants to replace the batteries free-of-charge amid fears the current batteries may overheat and become a fire risk.

The FAA said it alerted US airlines in July to the battery recall and also reminded them of rules issued in 2016 that prohibit them from transporting any products recalled over safety issues in either the cabin or as cargo until the products have been repaired or replaced.  

It is not immediately known how many MacBook Pros will be effected by the ban but about 432,000 MacBook Pros with faulty batteries were sold in the USA alone.

One way to tackle fires in small electronic devices such as laptops and mobile phones on planes is to use an AvSax fire containment bag. More than 15,373 are now on aircraft operated by 75 airline companies across the world – including some of the biggest and best-known. 

AvSax  – which won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2018 - has been used 31 times to deal with emergencies since the start of 2017. Deployment is so effective that extremely expensive diversions to alternate airports are avoided.