Travelling with Medical and Mobility Aids that contain Batteries

Information for Passengers about Dangerous Goods

The following information is taken from the current edition of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air.

Passengers must contact their airline in advance to gain approval when planning to travel with certain types of items as indicated below.

Restrictions implemented by other countries in the interests of aviation security may further limit or forbid the carriage of some of the items listed in these pages.  Additionally, airlines and security screening agencies have the right to refuse the carriage of certain items. 

See also - Travelling with Medical Aids (Without Batteries).

Medical Items that Contain Batteries

Carry-on Baggage

Checked (hold) Baggage

On One's Person

Airline approval required 

Portable Medical Electronic Devices Containing Lithium Metal and Lithium-Ion Batteries

Automated External Defibrillators (AED), Nebulizer, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), etc. containing lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries carried by passengers for medical use.
No more than two spare batteries may be carried. Spare batteries must be individually protected so as to prevent short circuits (by placement in original retail packaging or by otherwise insulating terminals, e.g. by taping over exposed terminals or placing each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch).

Each installed or spare battery must not exceed the following:

  • lithium metal batteries, a lithium content of not more than 8 grams;
    or
  • lithium ion batteries, a watt-hour rating of not more than 160 Wh.

Each installed or spare battery must be of a type which complies with the requirements of each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3. It may be necessary to contact the manufacturer to confirm this has been complied with.

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Wheelchairs and Mobility Aids Powered by Non-Spillable Batteries Wet

For use by passengers whose mobility is restricted by a disability, their health or age, or a temporary mobility problem (e.g. broken leg).

Prior to travel, passengers must advise the operator of the type of batteries fitted to the mobility aid and how the device can be protected against inadvertent operation (e.g. certain actions being taken with the joystick, removing a key or turning a deactivation switch). Application of the brake is not sufficient; unless the motor is rendered inoperative, the motor can still be activated and overheat.

At the airport, the airline must verify that the:

  • battery is securely attached to the mobility aid;
  • battery terminals are protected from short circuits (e.g. by being enclosed within a battery container); and
  • electrical circuits have been isolated.

Where the mobility aid is specifically designed to allow the battery to be removed (e.g. collapsible), the battery must be removed; the mobility aid may then be carried as checked baggage without restriction.

The removed battery must be carried in strong, rigid packagings which must be stowed in the cargo compartment and must be protected from short circuit.

It is recommended that passengers make arrangements with the airline at least 48 hours in advance of the date of travel.

No

Yes

N/A

Yes

Wheelchairs and Mobility Aids Powered by Spillable Batteries 

For use by passengers whose mobility is restricted by either a disability, their health or age, or a temporary mobility problem (e.g. broken leg), where possible, the mobility aid must be loaded, stowed, secured and unloaded always in an upright position.

Prior to travel, passengers must advise the airline of the type of batteries fitted to the mobility aid and how the device can be protected against inadvertent operation (e.g. certain actions being taken with the joystick, removing a key or turning a deactivation switch). Application of the brake is not sufficient; unless the motor is rendered inoperative, the motor can still be activated and overheat.

At the airport, the airline must verify that the:

  • battery is securely attached to the mobility aid;
  • battery terminals are protected from short circuits (e.g. by being enclosed within a battery container); and
  • electrical circuits have been isolated.

If the wheelchair or mobility aid cannot be loaded, stowed, secured and unloaded always in an upright position (which will depend upon the type of aircraft and the type of the mobility aid), the battery must be removed and the mobility aid may then be carried as checked baggage without restriction.

A removed spillable battery must only be carried by air if packed, marked and labelled as specified within the ICAO Technical Instructions.

It is recommended that passengers make arrangements with each airline at least 48 hours in advance of the date of travel. Also, unless batteries are non-spillable they should be fitted, where feasible, with spill-resistant vent caps. 

No

Yes

N/A

Yes

Wheelchairs and Mobility Aids Powered by Lithium-Ion Batteries

For use by passengers whose mobility is restricted by either a disability, their health or age, or a temporary mobility problem (e.g. broken leg).

Before travel, passengers must advise the operator of the type of batteries fitted to the mobility aid and how the device can be protected against inadvertent operation (e.g. certain actions being taken with the joystick, removing a key or turning a deactivation switch). Application of the brake is not sufficient; unless the motor is rendered inoperative, the motor can still be activated and overheat.

At the airport, the airline must verify that the:

  • battery is securely attached to the mobility aid;
  • battery terminals are protected from short circuits (e.g. by being enclosed within a battery container); and
  • electrical circuits have been isolated.


Note: Where the mobility aid is specifically designed to allow the battery to be removed (e.g. collapsible):

  • the battery(ies) must be removed and carried in the passenger cabin;
  • the battery terminals must be protected from short circuit (by insulating the terminals, e.g. by taping over exposed terminals);
  • the battery must be protected from damage (e.g. by placing each battery in a protective pouch);
  • removal of the battery from the mobility aid must be performed by following the instructions of the manufacturer or device owner.
  • the battery must not exceed 300 Wh; and
  • a maximum of one spare battery not exceeding 300 Wh or two spares not exceeding 160 Wh each may be carried.

It is recommended that passengers make arrangements with each airline at least 48 hours in advance of the date of travel.

See Note

No

N/A

Yes