By Solomon Asowata
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has banned the use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices on board aircraft following recent incidents and concerns raised by its manufacturers.
The aviation regulatory body gave the directive in a statement signed by its General Manager, Public Relations, Mr Sam Adurogboye, which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday.
It warned that the phones must not be turned on or charged in the aircraft by the passengers for safety reasons.
NCAA also directed aviation authorities not to allow the phones to be stowed away in any checked-in baggage.
“NCAA is appealing to the passengers’ responsibilities in relation to ensuring safety and security of air transportation.
“Importantly, all airlines are hereby advised to emphasise the prohibition of this devices on board during passenger briefings by the cabin crew.
“Similarly, all those responsible for searching or screening checked-in baggage are expected to intensify the procedures to identify possible checked-in Samsung Galaxy Note 7,” it said.
The NCAA reminded travellers that Samsung had recalled over 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 devices due to several reported cases of overheating and outright explosion.
According to the statement, investigation traced these problems to charging and the company is limiting battery charging on Galaxy Note 7 devices to prevent inferno.
“NCAA therefore calls on all passengers and airline operators to ensure total adherence to this directive as safety and security of air transportation is paramount to the authority,” it said.
The nation’s regulatory body said it had also sent a letter with reference NCAA/DOT/ALL OPS/VOL.1/00716 to all airlines and all other stakeholders for strict compliance.
NAN recalls that regulators issued a recall of the smartphone last week after dozens of people reported that the Note 7 caught fire while charging.
The fires were traced to a battery problem believed to affect 0.1% of the 2.5 million phones sold worldwide since August.
The Note 7 exchange program got off to a bumpy start outside the United States on Monday.
In Samsung’s home market of South Korea, the program didn’t attract much demand in Seoul.