Two and a half months ago Apple issued a recall of its older 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops, sold between mid-2015 to February-2017 for replacement because of battery safety concerns about the battery overheating and posinga fire safety risk. Now the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is banning the laptops from flights.
The FAA made a statement to Bloomberg, saying it was aware of the safety issues regarding the batteries in the older MacBook Pro laptops and has warned US airliners about the precautions they should be taking.
The FAA also warned the airlines to follow 2016 safety guidelines regarding any goods with recalled batteries which means the laptops should not be allowed on flights in carry-on baggage by passengers or as cargo.
Four airlines that have cargo operations managed by Total Cargo Expertise (TCE) – Air Italy, and Air Transat, Thomas Cook Airlines, and TUI Group Airlines– implemented a ban on the laptops from being brought onto its planes as cargo.
A TCE operations coordinatorsent a memo to all of its employees prohibiting the laptops from being on board any of their flights.
Confirmation on this new policy was made by TUI Group Airlines (based out of the UK) and said that all airport staff have been made aware of the ban and that announcements were to be made at the gate and by flight attendants before take-off.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency also issued the same warning earlier this month to airliners, reminding them to follow 2017 guidelines that require recalled lithium-ion batteries to be switched off and not be in use during flights.
Apple’s recall in June said the batteries would be replaced free of charge and that once new batteries are installed in the laptops in question, then customers will be free to fly with their laptops.
432,000 older 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops were sold in the US were included in the recall and according to Canadian data about 26,000 devices sold there were impacted by the recall as well. Number of units old in Europe have not been disclosed.
This isn’t the first time telecom devices have been banned by the FAA. Samsung’s Note 7 was banned for its handset’s battery exploding in multiple incidents in 2016 and it looks like HP Inc.’s recently recalled laptops may soon be banned from flights by the FAA.