US likely to expand airline laptop ban to Europe: government officials

Lucy Hill
May 20, 2017

On Friday, a European official said that USA and European officials will discuss airline security at a high-level meeting in Brussels next week.

A hush-hush meeting between officials of the US Department of Homeland Security, three major US airlines and a trade group is the surest sign yet that a carry-on ban on some electronic devices for European flights to US is imminent, according to a report.

Critics of the laptop and electronic device ban say placing hundreds of lithium batteries in luggage holds could present fire risks.

The United Kingdom followed suit after the USA announced its ban on large electronics by issuing its own prohibition on electronic devices on flights coming from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia.

Is the Department of Homeland Security about to announce a ban on laptops aboard all USA -bound flights from Europe?

An industry-backed group, the Airline Passenger Experience Association, said the USA government should consider alternatives.

Passengers traveling with affected devices will be required to store them in their checked baggage.

Several unnamed US and European officials confirmed the likelihood of the updated ban to Reuters and other media outlets Wednesday afternoon. The announcement is expected Thursday.

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"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 US and United Kingdom bans were introduced due to intelligence that suggested terrorist groups targeting aviation were looking at ways to take down aircraft using bombs smuggled in consumer electronic devices.

More than 350 flights a day travel from Europe to the U.S.

The DHS, however, is said to be mulling over expanding that laptop ban to include still unnamed European countries.

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"We're trying to make sure that there is good coordination involving airports and airlines", said Robert O'Meara, a spokesman for ACI Europe.

Commenting on these tests, the Federation of Airline Pilots' Associations, IFALPA, representing airline pilots worldwide, said, "In fact, the fire proceeded is if the halon were not present".

The issue stems from March, when the U.S. imposed a slew of laptop restrictions on flights coming from as many as 10 airports.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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