No Announcement Friday On Laptop Ban Expansion

Lynne Hanson
May 15, 2017

A USA ban on laptops and tablets in cabins of trans-Atlantic flights to the United States appeared all but inevitable Friday after Department of Homeland Security officials briefed European governments on a proposal that would affect millions of passengers.

Some European terminals may soon be added to the list of 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa from which the United States has prohibited passengers to board with laptops and tablets, according to "three sources briefed on the meeting", Reuters reported.

Passengers on flights covered by the restrictions are required to carry anything bigger than a smartphone in checked baggage.

The Department of Homeland Security is considering expanding its laptop ban on more flights - possibly from Europe to the United States - according to multiple reports. European airport security measures are closely aligned with American measures, and US aviation security has had its own failures. Emirates, based in Dubai, cited the policy in hurting demand and leading to its decision to reduce flights to the U.S. "The intelligence is pointing to something else beyond that. We are acting on specific intelligence".

The Donald Trump administration is planning to extend the ban on laptop computers on commercial aircraft to some European countries just ahead of the peak summer season, sending airlines and travel-industry groups into a tizzy.

Bloomberg reported that two travel trade groups, the Global Business Travel Association and the U.S. Travel Association have already issued statements in this regard, stressing on the need for genuine security risks to be addressed, but urging the DHS to be as flexible as possible.

The UK followed up with a similar ban, and now there is a good chance it will affect flights from the UK to the United States soon.

Russia: Syria deal bans US-led coalition aircraft
It also called on the USA and other Arab allied countries, to take "firm stances" to prevent the implementation of the deal. The Syrian regime supported the de-escalation plan, but said it would continue to fight what it termed terrorist groups.


DHS officials are expected to speak to airline industry representations and lawmakers Thursday about security and consideration of the ban.

Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan declined to discuss the meeting. United Airlines shares were trading down 1% in NY.

"Our interest is to stay informed so that we have a possibility to share the information with our member states", European Commission spokesperson Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said.

The officials had asked that the USA and Europe continue to cooperate on a "joint response to shared threats".

While several sources claim that the expansion of the large electronics ban is coming, there has been no official word on the change.

"The bottom line is to keep terrorists with explosives off planes", said John Pistole, the president of Anderson University and a former TSA administrator. The head of the International Air Transport Association, Alexandre de Juniac, told CNNMoney in March that it wasn't an appropriate solution to the threat, would hurt the airlines affected, and should be overturned.

"Why did the U.S. and the United Kingdom target different countries for the initial ban, and why didn't other countries follow suit?" asked Koch. It said that carrying a large number of lithium batteries in the cargo compartment increases the risk of an accidental fire.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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