FAA Continues Study of EFB Lithium Battery Fire Hazard

 - March 27, 2009, 10:10 AM

The FAA is sifting through public comments related to a draft policy memo issued in February that warns of potential safety hazards associated with the rechargeable lithium batteries in electronic flight bag (EFB) portable computers. Noting that lithium batteries can pose a particular danger during recharging, the memo calls for additional testing of class 1 and 2 EFBs or the posting of placards stating that no equipment containing rechargeable lithium batteries should be connected to aircraft electrical power.

During overcharging, lithium batteries can heat and ignite, resulting in fire or explosion, the policy document warns. Advanced Data Research Florida, a leading supplier of EFB units to business aircraft operators, notes on its Web site that the FAA policy information is “not new guidance requiring action by EFB operators at this time. It is an undated draft memo that has been put out for public comment.”