India's aviation ministry lifts Note 7 ban

India's aviation ministry — the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) — has eased restrictions on Galaxy Note 7 usage aboard flights. Following the global recall, Samsung has issued an update to the Note 7 to distinguish safe units from those that are still faulty. Essentially, new units with batteries from a different supplier will come with a green battery icon, whereas older defective units will retain the traditional white icon.

The DGCA has announced that Note 7 units with the green battery icon are safe to use on flights. Technically, Samsung didn't commence sales of the Note 7 in the country before the recall was initiated, instead choosing to defer the launch date. It looks like Samsung sent out a few pre-orders and demo units, but has retrieved them. The company is now planning to launch the Note 7 on October 7, and is rolling out a massive ad campaign to allay fears over exploding batteries.

Here's the statement issued by the DGCA:

Aviation regulator DGCA has eased restrictions on use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 on flights, allowing passengers to use the ones purchased after September 15 which have green battery icon.The ban remains on Galaxy Note 7 devices purchased before September 15 which have seen battery overheating and have a white battery charge indication on the screen.According to the latest DGCA notice, Samsung has recalled Galaxy Note 7 sold before September 15 that have white battery charge indication on their screens.

A Samsung spokesperson also issued a statement reflecting the ruling:

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued an advisory to the travelling public and airline companies today, lifting the restrictions on in-flight use of the new Samsung Galaxy Note7, purchased after 15th September, 2016.Customers can identify the new Galaxy Note7 with the 'green battery icon'. Devices displaying this visual icon are safe to charge and use during the flight.It is important to note that Samsung has not sold a single unit of Galaxy Note7 in India so far. The 'green battery icon' will apply to all Galaxy Note7 units that will be sold to customers in India when it is launched.We recognize the inconvenience this has caused to customers, flyers and airline authorities, and remain committed towards customer safety.

While the Note 7 is cleared for usage, the DGCA is working with Samsung over a Galaxy Note 2 that caught on fire aboard an IndiGo flight last week. Based on preliminary findings from the investigation, it looks like external damage was the cause behind that particular device exploding:

The public notice, issued on Thursday, comes days after Samsung executives met DGCA officials. The meeting happened against the backdrop of a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 catching fire on an IndiGo flight from Singapore during landing at Chennai airport on September 23.Meanwhile, the investigation is progressing on the fire incident involving Galaxy Note 2.Sources said initial findings indicate that the incident happened due to "some external damage" to that particular Galaxy Note 2.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • Hip Hip Hooray!
  • Finally, some happier news.....
  • Sounds like the 'Green Battery Indicator-meter' will now become the Note 7 'Badge of Honor' to show off in all travel Security Lines. "You have your green meter lit?" "Yes, officer... see right here." "You may pass."
  • 'green battery indicator' for the win
  • Anyone with AT&T gotten that green battery update yet? Mine keeps saying software up to date.
  • I have mine but my significant other hasn't gotten hers yet neither has some of my buddies
  • Wow a bit of good note 7 news so welcomed. Good job India not following for all the media hype . Come on FAA it's your turn to step up
  • They already did a couple days ago.
  • Nothing works better than bribing corrupt officials and ministers in India!!
  • Still going to be annoying if people have to stop and show battery icon before boarding
  • The ban is for using/charging your phone on board, so chances are you'd have to show it only if a flight attendant asks you about it in-flight.
  • FAA also 'lifted' it (or at least they stated that the 'ban' doesn't apply to replacement units with the 'green battery' icon).
  • Its amazing how the naysayers read the same article and come out with a different understanding to there liking . Fact is there was never a ban .you where only instructed to not charge are use it while in flight no more no less