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FAA prohibits recalled MacBook Pros on flights due to fire risk

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration recently notified major airlines of Apple's recall of certain MacBook Pro models, effectively banning the impacted laptops from passenger and cargo planes as they pose a potential fire hazard.

In a statement to Bloomberg, the FAA said it was "aware of the recalled batteries that are used in some Apple MacBook Pro laptops" and stated that it had instructed airlines to follow rules relating to products with recalled batteries.

According to a 2016 regulation, affected devices are restricted on cargo planes and as carry-on items on passenger flights.

Apple in June issued a battery recall targeting mid-2015 15-inch MacBook Pro models sold between September 2015 and February 2017. According to the company, some units contain battery cells that might overheat and "pose a fire safety risk."

An internal document seen by Bloomberg confirms Total Cargo Expertise this week notified employees about the laptop ban. The company operates both cargo and passenger aircraft under TUI Group Airlines, Thomas Cook Airlines, Air Italy and Air Transat. A spokesperson for TUI Group said the airline will make announcements about the recalled MacBook Pro models at airport gates and onboard before takeoff, the report said.

Whether the FAA plans to post warnings about the laptops at U.S. airports is unknown. Similar postings were seen at airports across the country in 2016 after a number of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 devices caught fire or exploded. At the time, at least one airline, Southwest, blamed the evacuation of a flight on a smoking Note 7.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency is also taking precautions and in August instructed airlines to follow 2017 rules that require devices with recalled lithium-ion batteries to be turned off during flight, the report said.

A Canadian safety alert in June estimated that about 432,000 MacBook Pros with faulty batteries were sold in the U.S., while another 26,000 made their way into Canada.