Since there are some uncertainty among the airmodellers – how you can read for example here – it was the reason for us to concentrate on getting more clear information about that issue.
We will fly with SAS – so I checked the regulations there. According carry on baggage they link to the pages from Transportation Security Administration.
There is a page about transport of batteries and a link to that: http://safetravel.dot.gov/whats_new_batteries.html
On a summarizing page they define what are „larger“, what are „smaller“ batteries and if they could be transported in checked and/or carry on baggage: http://safetravel.dot.gov/quick_chart.html
Smaller Lipo-Batteries are those with up to 8 g equivalent lithium content (that means up to 100 watthours). For those there is no restriction in the number of batteries. And installed (and secured) batteries in the device could be send as checked baggage too.
Larger Lipo-batteries are those with between 8 and 25 g equivalent lithium content (that means between 100 and 300 watthours). Here is a limitation on 2 spare batteries in carry on baggage and one installed in the device.
Batteries with more than 300 watthours are forbidden.
According to that 5s-cells (with 84 watthours) are “smaller” Lipo-batteries and could be taken along the travel (resp. as much as the carry on baggage suits 😉 ).
10s-cells (with 168 watthours) are “larger” batteries. Reg. these regulations we could take with us 2 of them in carry on baggage and one installed in the device (in the checked baggage).
The batteries in the device have to be secured that they are and will be “off”.
The batteries in the carry on baggage have to be secured against short circuit.
Here is a summary: http://safetravel.dot.gov/documents/airline_passengers_and_batteries.pdf
So long the regulations in USA.
But now I found also the following regulations which are different:
On the pages with regulations from the IATA you can read on page 9: “…18.104.22.168 Lithium ion batteries exceeding a watt-hour rating of 100 Wh but not exceeding 160 Wh may be carried as spare batteries in carry on baggage, or in equipment in either checked or carry on baggage….”
Since this is confusing (regarding tot he US-regulation) I asked the IATA directly and got the confirmation that the international rules are more restrictive than the US-ones. And that we have to follow the most restrictive ones.
That means, 10s-cells (with 168 watthours) are forbidden.
“Smaller” Lipo-batteries can be taken along in the carry on baggage with no concrete limitation – but the number has to be “reasonable”.
On my request I got the answer, that 8 5s-cells will not be reasonable since that covers 4 flights.
But 6 such batteries for 2 persons is ok. (plus maybe a battery installed in the device).
With some effort we got some clarification on these questions.
We will now take with us 6 5s-cells Lipo batteries in carry on baggage, but no one in the device.
And in addition we will take with us all communication with the IATA – so that we are prepared if there are some questions/ issues in the security control.