The US Government is urging international airlines to ban cameras in checked luggage

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The U.S. government is urging airlines around the world to ban cameras, laptops, and other large personal electronic devices from checked luggage, citing the risk of batteries causing catastrophic fires.

The recommendation comes from a paper filed to the International Civil Aviation Organisation, an organisation under the United Nations.

According to the report, lithium batteries, if heated and near aerosol cans, could start fires in less than a minute and potentially bring down a commercial airliner. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducted tests that involved placing a heater against a fully-charged laptop’s lithium-ion battery, causing the battery’s temperature to continually rise. 

As a result the FAA is recommending that international flights ban passenger devices larger than a smartphone, unless authorised by the airline.  

This could be an issue for photographers who need to transport large amounts of gear. As a contingency, photographers could opt to place their batteries in their cabin luggage and check their cameras in.

Transporting camera equipment on flights has become more regulated in recent years due to safety and terrorism concerns. The US temporarily banned cameras in the cabins of planes from a number of Middle Eastern countries earlier this year, and the TSA recently started requiring a separate screening of cameras in security lanes.

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