New Airline Regulations for Batteries

Airline Regulations for Batteries

The airlines naturally worry about battery leakage, fire or explosion. Bad enough on land, but potentially disastrous on an airplane. Last year, the FAA said that lithium-ion batteries were sparking airplane fires once every 10 days on average.

The International Air Transport Association is now instructing its 300 airline members to restrict lithium-powered smart bags. “Baggage with removable installed Lithium batteries (“smart luggage”) must be carried as carry-on baggage or the battery must be removed,” the IATA said. “With the battery removed, the bag can be checked-in. If the battery cannot be removed, the bag is forbidden for carriage.”

You must consider a number of other issues when filming outside the US. See Shooting Abroad: Know The In’s and Out’s Before Leaving The Runway.

Airline Regulations for Batteries

There are also new airline regulations for batteries, specifically for transporting any lithium batteries. In general the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says that if your batteries are installed in devices, your luggage may be checked-in as usual. However, batteries that are left on their own without proper packing are not allowed on the flights. The regulations vary from airline to airline depending on locations. So you will want to check your airlines before assuming anything about packing camera gear.

You can travel with lithium-ion battery cells, but there are certain specifications. Lithium-ion battery cells are packaged in a hard plastic case, which makes them safe and easy to carry. They come in 4 types of Watt Hours: 95Wh, 130Wh, 160Wh, and 190Wh. For International flights, you can only carry 95Wh batteries on all airlines in check-in luggage as well as carry-on.

Within the US, the TSA allows passengers to carry batteries with up to 160Wh capacity to be carried in carry-on luggage. You may carry on an unlimited number of batteries less than 100Wh, in a protected case/pouch to prevent short circuit of terminals. A battery of 160Wh or less installed in equipment, may be allowable if the total weight is less than 11 Lbs. But no spare batteries may be in checked baggage. Batteries larger than 100Wh batteries (up to 160Wh) are limited to only 2 per person, carried on.

If you are flying with equipment that uses Lithium batteries, it is very important that you check your airline before flight time.

Here’s an exchange I found on the SouthWest Air Forum:

Lithium batteries – 3.7 volt


I wish to travel with 13 GoPro camcorders that I professionally use to video horse trial events.

I will check-in a tripod but carry on-board the 13 GoPros and their attached Lithium batteries – 11.1volts 2000MaH, as well as a 7 lbs ENG type camcorder.

Any chance I’d able to travel with the above equipment ?
I do not mind applying for the Global Entry process.

Re: Lithium batteries – 3.7 volt


You have to travel with them in your carry on. If they are loose the contacts must be covered. You are allowed two batteries each with a max of 160 wH.

You gave a voltage rating of 3.7 volts output. Look for the capacity in mAh. Divide that mAh by 1,000 and then multiply the result by 3.7, the answer will give you your wH which must not be above 160 mH.

For more information on airline regulations for batteries, see FAA – Batteries Carried by Airline Passengers.


Keep Reading...

Drone Case Settles: Pirker Vs FAA

Drone Case Settles: Pirker v FAA

Drone Case Settles This is a still from the video for which Pirker was fined. The full video is available in the link below. This case has finally been settled. In 2011 Raphael Pirker had been fined $10,000 by the FAA for using a Zephyr drone to capture aerial shots of the University of Virginia […]

Read More

First 8K Handheld Camera

The first 8K handheld camera.

Read More
Light Painting With A Quadcopter

Make Night Art with a Quadcopter

(Note: The original video has been removed. This shows the same idea.) Photographing light trails at night has been a popular technique of both still photographers and videographers. We’ve all seen the light trails of night traffic in a time lapse video. Light painting in still photography can be done a couple of ways. One […]

Read More
NASA Camera Melts

NASA Camera Melts

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on May 22, 2018 started a bursh fire which melted this Canon 5DS camera. The blast of the actual rocket launch was a quarter mile away. The blast did not melt the camera, but the brush fire did. Bill Ingalls, a veteran […]

Read More




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Forbes Magazine calls VideoUniversity one of the best business-to-business sites for digital video production.
  • WINNER
    Videography Magazine's
    "Website of the Month" Award
  • WINNER
    PC Magazine Online "Best Desktop Video Site" Award
  • WINNER
    CyberFilm School's "FOUR STAR" Award