ST. JOHN’S: The Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) has banned the carriage of e-cigarettes in checked luggage and is urging regional countries to adopt a united position on the matter.
The airline, citing a recommendation from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), said that e-cigarettes are a fire risk and that they “mainly use lithium cells to heat liquid nicotine into a vapour”.
LIAT said that these devices have, in some instances, overheated or caught fire when the heating element was accidentally activated.
It said that the FAA described two recent incidents in the United States as an example.
“In the first incident, e-cigarettes packed in a passenger’s checked bag in the cargo hold of a passenger aircraft caused a fire that forced an evacuation of the aircraft,” said LIAT. “In the second incident, a checked bag that had missed its flight was found to be on fire in a baggage area. Emergency responders attributed the fire to an overheated e-cigarette inside the bag.”
LIAT said that airport security in the territories in which it operates have not yet confirmed a unified stance on the carriage of e-cigarettes in carry-on baggage.
“It is therefore recommended passengers should not carry e-cigarettes in their cabin baggage either, so they don’t lose their devices if the airport security decides to remove them,” it said. “Should airport security across the territories subsequently allow e-cigarettes to be carried on board flights, LIAT would review its current recommendation.”