BERLIN/PARIS, April 5 Europe's aviation
regulator voiced concern on Wednesday over the possible risk of
fire breaking out in the cargo holds of passenger planes after
the United States and Britain banned computers from passenger
cabins and urged new precautions.
The European Aviation Safety Agency, which is responsible
for safe flying in 32 countries, said personal electronic
devices (PED) carried a fire risk due to their lithium batteries
and should preferably be carried inside passenger cabins so that
any problems could be identified and dealt with.
"When the carriage of PEDs in the cabin is not allowed, it
leads to a significant increase of the number of PEDs in the
cargo compartment. Certain precautions should therefore be
observed to mitigate the risk of accidental fire in the cargo
hold," the agency said in a safety bulletin.
The Cologne-based agency issued its guidance two weeks after
the United States and Britain banned gadgets larger than a
smartphone, including laptops and tablets, from passenger cabins
on flights from certain countries because of security risks.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Tim Hepher; Editing by Susan