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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #14-0157 ([Alaska Airlines] [Mr. Mike Tobin])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Alaska Airlines

Individual Name: Mr. Mike Tobin

Location State: WA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Mr. Mike Tobin
Manager Dangerous Goods
Alaska Airlines
P.O. Box 68900
Seattle, WA 98168

Ref. No.: 14-0157

Dear Mr. Tobin:

This responds to your August 1, 2014 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to non-spillable batteries in passenger baggage. We have paraphrased your questions and answered them below.

Q1: On August 6, 2014, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a Final Rule titled “Transportation of Lithium Batteries” [79 FR 46011] under Docket HM-224F (PHMSA-2009-0095) outlining requirements for lithium batteries. You ask if PHMSA intended to remove § 175.10(a)(18)(iii) from the HMR as a part of this rulemaking.

A1: PHMSA did not intend to remove this section from the HMR and has reinstated this section in the January 8, 2015 (HM-215M) Final Rule [80 FR 1075].

Q2: You ask if a non-spillable battery for a mobility aid, complying with § 173.159a(d) is permitted in carry-on baggage in accordance with § 175.10(a)(18)(iii)?

A2: Yes, non-spillable batteries for a mobility aid may be permitted in passenger carry-on baggage in accordance with § 175.10(a)(18)(iii). It should be noted that when mobility aids equipped with non-spillable batteries or dry sealed batteries are carried as checked baggage then § 175.10(a)(15) must be followed.

Please also note that § 175.10(a)(18)(iii) allows passengers to bring on board up to two individually protected non-spillable batteries that must not exceed a voltage greater than 12 volts and a watt-hour rating of not more than 100 Wh. The battery and equipment must conform to § 173.159a(d).

Q3: What kind of portable electronic device other than a mobility aid would use a 100 Wh non-spillable battery?

A3: Based on the continually evolving applications for batteries, PHMSA does not maintain a current list of portable electronic devices and their specifications.

I trust this satisfies your inquiry. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.



T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

175.10(a)(18)(iii), 173.159a(d), 175.10(a)(15)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.159 Batteries, wet
175.10 Exceptions for passengers, crewmembers, and air operators