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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 - FAA requirement removed
March 7, 2017
Date: 24 February 2017
To: Australian Dangerous Goods Air Transport Council
Asia Pacific Cabin Safety Working Group
From: Ben Firkins – Dangerous Goods Inspector
Subject: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – Update
Following the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 recall notice in 2016, the FAA made Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order FAA-2016-9288. This introduced a number of requirements, including a requirement that operators alert passengers to the prohibition of the air transport of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices, immediately prior to boarding.
A number of operators alerted passengers either when the boarding call was made and/or by way of public address on the aircraft when all passengers were on board.
A number of operators chose to implement the public address in Australian terminal boarding areas and on domestically operated aircraft; for various reasons including:
It was an enterprise wide implementation to maintain consistency and avoid inadvertent non-compliance;
The application of the Operator’s SMS had judged it a necessary practice as the devices had been on sale in Australia;
The broadcasts were becoming/had become an endemic industry practice.
On 12 January 2017, the FAA updated the Emergency Restriction/Prohibition Order to remove the requirement for operators to alert passengers to the prohibition of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. The prohibition against the carriage or consignment of the device on aircraft continues; it is only the requirement for operators to notify passengers that has been removed.
On 9 February 2017, EASA issued Safety Information Bulletin (SIB) Number SIB-2017-01, noting reports that
On 15 December 2016 Samsung advised of the release of an automatic and mandatory software update that would prevent Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices from charging more than 30%.
By 2 February 2017, Samsung’s recall rate reached 94% in Europe and 96,5% worldwide.
On 30 January 2017 Samsung confirmed that, as from the following day, they would release a new software update that would prevent the device from charging and would eliminate their ability to work as mobile devices.
EASA also noted that there are no recent reports of fire related incidents or accidents involving these devices on board of the aircraft.
Consequently EASA had withdrawn an earlier SIB with certain recommendations and replaced them with more general recommendations regarding defective lithium batteries.
Australian Operators are encouraged to review the amended FAA Order and EASA SIB in accordance with their Safety Management System and any relevant risk assessments. Where an operator continues to make broadcasts specific to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, then the operator may wish to review the value and safety benefit of continuing to do so.