Travelling by air in 2021 – Beware new IATA rules now effective 1 January 2021

Posted by Meg Kummerow on

Travelling by air in 2021 – Beware new IATA rules now effective 1 January 2021

(Source: Rotorcraft Asia-Pacific e-News December Report 2020. Please contact the Editor, Rob Rich to be placed on their email list: robsrich@bigpond.com)

(The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 290 airlines or 82% of total air traffic. We support many areas of aviation activity and help formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues.​​)

Visit the IATA document - Passengers travelling with Lithium batteries document here.


The rotorcraft industry is constantly responding to global disasters which result in rapid deployment of aerial resources at short notice. Operational and support staff heading to a humanitarian task rely heavily on battery-powered electronic devices such as drones and numerous communication systems involved with command-and-control centres.

Take loose batteries out of your check-in baggage

From 1 January 2021, no loose or spare batteries will be allowed in passengers checked-in baggage. The restrictions are due to changes to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations. The changes apply to all loose or spare batteries including batteries in their original retail packaging.

Loose or spare batteries in carry-on baggage Passengers may take up to 20 loose or spare batteries of any type (including AAA, AA, C cell, D cell and 9-Volt) in carry-on baggage, unless their airline has approved the carriage of more batteries. Loose or spare batteries in carry-on luggage must be protected by being in their original retail packaging, or an individual bag or protective pouch for each battery, or with tape placed over exposed terminals.


What happens if I have loose or spare batteries in my checked-in baggage? We x-ray bags going on planes to make sure there is nothing dangerous in them. If something comes up on the x-ray that needs checking, the bag will be opened, searched and any dangerous or prohibited item will be removed. 

Why is this item restricted?
Batteries can overheat and catch fire. Tips for passengers travelling with batteries:
• Batteries that power any device – mobile phone, laptop, medical device - can go in checked-in baggage, but only if they are in the device, and the device is turned off.
• Spare dry-cells and nickel-metal hydride batteries will now be managed the same as all other types of spare batteries, e.g., lithium, that are already prohibited from checked-in baggage. That means no spare batteries, of any type, will be allowed in aerial checked-in baggage.
• Passengers who are not sure what they can take on the plane or pack in their
baggage, can with their regulator’s website or check with their airline.
• Check batteries for damage, corrosion and replace them, as necessary.

Fly safely and securely this summer and do not get caught out with loose batteries in your checked-in baggage.


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