U.S.

US, EU officials discuss ban on in-flight laptops

US, EU officials discuss ban on in-flight laptops

In March, the U.S. imposed a similar ban on some 10 airports from eight countries around the Middle East and parts of north Africa, with the United Kingdom also taking similar measures.

USA officials had previously said they were looking into extending to Europe a ban on electronics on flights from eight mostly Muslim countries.

Kelly has not made a final decision on extending the ban but the department still believes an expansion is likely, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

IATA needs to be told more about USA concerns in order to contribute to developing a solution, de Juniac said, adding: "We can provide appropriate advice when it comes to security and protection measures for passengers".

With the USA pushing to expand the ban, and other groups suggesting it should be rolled back, we may be at a tipping point.

Discussions over keeping laptops and large electronics out of more US-bound flight cabins ended yesterday without an agreement to widen the ban.

According to the United Kingdom's Holiday Extras, the country's leader in flight booking online, over one-third of people who participated in their survey would reconsider flying to the USA if a laptop ban were to be enacted.

"Participants provided insight into existing aviation security standards and detection capabilities as well as recent security enhancements on both sides of the Atlantic related to large electronic devices placed in checked baggage", they said in the statement.




A United States ban on now ubiquitous laptops could cause havoc, with more than 3,250 flights a week scheduled to leave European Union airports for the U.S. this summer, according to industry data.

U.S. Travel Association, according to CNN Money, states a lot of European travelers spend somewhere between $3,000 to $4,000 when they come to the states. Officials said the ban would only affect flights originating from select airports that do not thoroughly screen carry-on luggage. Details of intelligence or how bombs could be concealed in devices weren't revealed in the briefing with reporters.

The group estimates that based on a sample of European airports, 60% to 90% of passengers on those flights carry PEDs on flights to the U.S.

The ban raises a series of concerns that so far have not been addressed by the Department of Homeland Security, most notably large lithium-ion batteries that are now not allowed in cargo holds by many airlines due to their propensity to catch fire.

He said: "We don't doubt the security threats that have led to consideration of extending the ban on devices, but we urge the authorities to carefully assess the additional fire risk from storing more PEDs in the hold to ensure we're not solving one problem by creating a worse one".

While the European Union delegation were not given a guarantee that a laptop ban would not be imposed, there is greater confidence in Brussels that it is unlikely to happen in the near future.

Experts say a bomb in the cabin would be easier to make and require less explosive force than one in the hold.

ACI Europe said that 59 European airports now have direct services to the US with a total of 3,684 weekly flights. The US move was followed by the United Kingdom but the two countries banned a differing list of airlines, with the latter including some British carriers as well.


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