Aviation regulator DGCA may issue a fresh advisory on the use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones on board aircraft after getting latest inputs from its US counterpart, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The DGCA is already in touch with FAA on the issue and the fresh advisory is likely to be put in public domain by next week, a senior DGCA official said, two days after a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, apparently a replacement device, caught fire on a US airline flight.
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Samsung officially recalled one million of its Galaxy Note 7 mobile phones sold before September 15 after finding that some of their batteries had exploded or caught fire. The company, however, said that until it was able to retrieve the device, it cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Note 7.
Earlier, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had completely banned the use of Galaxy Note 7 on board flights as also carrying them in checked-in baggage, which it partially lifted on September 30.
“The FAA guidelines prohibit carrying of Galaxy Note 7 device in the cargo, besides switching off all applications (in case of flight mode) as well as protecting the switch on/off button. We are in touch with the FAA over the issue and if it revisits these guidelines, we will also issue a fresh advisory on the use of device,” the official said.
The FAA guidelines issued on September 16 “prohibit air cargo shipments of recalled or defective lithium batteries and lithium battery-powered devices, and passengers may not turn on or charge the devices when they carry them on board a plane. Passengers must also protect the devices from accidental activation, including disabling any features that may turn on the device, such as alarm clocks, and must not pack them in checked luggage.”
The DGCA, in a public notice on September 12, had advised air travellers “not to turn on or charge the device and also not to stow them in their check-in baggage.”
However, it later allowed passengers to use the device purchased after September 15 which has “green battery charge indication”. The ban remains on Galaxy Note 7 having a white battery charge indication on the screen and manufactured before September 15, which has seen battery overheating.
A Southwest Airline flight from Louisville International Airport in Kentucky to Baltimore was reportedly evacuated on Wednesday after a passenger’s Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phone began smoking shortly before takeoff. Samsung has said there was no evidence that this incident was related to the new Note 7 and that they were probing the matter.
“Until we are able to retrieve the device, we cannot confirm that this incident involves the new Note 7. We are working with the authorities and Southwest now to recover the device and confirm the cause,” Samsung said in a statement.
Once it has examined the device, it will have more information to share, the company added.
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