United States laptop ban could expand to all flights arriving from European

Terrell Bush
May 20, 2017

"The Commission is keen to work closely with all worldwide partners - including the US authorities - on identifying developing threats in aviation and the best ways to address them together", said European Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen.

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

The U.S.in March banned in-cabin laptops and larger electronics on flights from 10 Middle Eastern and North African airports.

The CBS report cites unnamed sources close to the DHS, who say the ban on larger devices could be expanded to flights departing for the U.S. from Europe and perhaps the UK.

The European Union is requesting urgent talks with the USA over the matter, NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports.

Several flights have also started issuing tablets to passengers to ensure that they can still avail themselves of all the services they would enjoy while using their own devices.

When could the announcement come?

David Lapan, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said the agency had not decided whether to extend the ban. Officials are coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration to provide carriers with a bulletin on the proper handling of batteries, DHS spokeswoman Jenny Burke said last month.

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.

But the travel industry is not on board with the ban expansion.

Dutch Airline KLM says it is "closely monitoring developments and will make adjustments when necessary".

British Airways referred calls to the U.K. Department for Transport, which said it doesn't discuss security measures or comment on speculation.

More than 350 flights a day travel from Europe to the U.S. Results showed the extinguishers proved useless in putting out a lithium-ion battery fire.

The ban now is in place at 10 airports in eight countries.

"You need a lot of time to inform them and a lot of time for it to enter people's heads until it becomes a habit", he said.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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