Is the United States really going to ban laptops on flights from Europe?
Officials in the USA and Europe do not have a precise date but expect the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to formally announce an expansion of the ban soon, possibly by Thursday.
Though the scope of the March laptop ban was limited to 10 airports, aviation observers quickly began speculating about how it could be expanded. More to the point, they are also a danger on flights originating domestically.
The US is reportedly considering expanding its airline laptop and tablet ban to include the United Kingdom and Europe.
Another, more serious issue is that placing large numbers of laptops in planes’ cargo holds could risk increased danger from fires caused by their lithium-ion batteries, since such a fire in the hold would be hard to put out. For myself, I think the entire ban is nonsense.
European airport security measures are closely aligned with American measures, and US aviation security has had its own failures.
Two people briefed on the matter said DHS officials are to meet with airline industry officials, Thursday to discuss security issues.
Reuters cited six American and European officials who said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was expected to announce the ban, but they did not know when.
On Thursday Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is briefing senators about “domestic threats” and that includes air travel issues, Reuters reported. The policy included Kuwait International Airport, Cairo International Airport and Dubai International Airport, among others. While no final decision has been made yet, according to the sources, it’s coming soon.
The ban was introduced due to intelligence indicating that terrorist groups targeting commercial aviation “are aggressively pursuing” ways to take down aircraft using bombs smuggled in consumer devices, according to the Department.
Emirates reduced its number of flights to the US following the ban, which led to a decrease in demand for the routes.