Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

US, Europe discuss new laptop ban on flights

US, Europe discuss new laptop ban on flights

Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security met last week with high-ranking executives of the three leading U.S. airlines — American, Delta and United — and the industry's leading U.S. trade group to discuss expanding the laptop policy to flights arriving from Europe.

The US has been considering increasing the number of airports affected by the ban to possibly include some in Europe, prompting the European Union to hold a meeting of aviation security officials last week.

The current restrictions affect 350 USA -bound flights per week from the Middle East and North Africa, the IATA estimates. They shared details about aviation security standards and will discuss the topic further next week.

Passengers flying between Europe and the USA can continue to take laptops and tablets in their hand luggage for now at least, following a meeting between European Union and U.S. officials in Brussels on Wednesday. "In 2016, 31 million passengers departed European airports on flights to the United States of which 3.5 million were connecting from flights that originated outside of Europe". More talks are scheduled for next week in Washington, D.C. But given how volatile the White House has been in recent months, it's unclear whether it is really being nixed or what other measures might be put in place to protect passengers.

Washington has already imposed an electronics ban on direct flights from 10 North African and Middle Eastern airports.

NBA Begins its Search for New Talent Starting Next Month in India as it is All Set to Open its first Basketball Academy in India in April 2017
Within the last few years, the men's basketball team of India defeated China successively in both 2014 as well as 2016. He now currently plays in the NBA developmental League for the Texas Legends.

In April, we first reported that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies believed that ISIS and other terrorist organizations had developed new ways to place explosives in laptops and other electronic devices to evade airport security screening methods. European transportation guidelines have generally suggested carrying on laptops and other electronic devices with lithium batteries, which can combust during flights if packed together tightly. Emirates and Turkish Airlines instituted a laptop handling service that allows passengers to use their electronics until they reach the gate, when security will take possession of the items and pack them in boxes and load them into the hold.

"These new rules could solve one problem while creating another", the British Airline Pilots' Association said in a statement this week, cautioning against a fire risk. Aviation sources say that Europe will seek to placate American concerns by promising closer scrutiny of laptops at the gate of US-bound flights, including routine electronic-trace detection.

"Secretary Kelly make his decisions based on the intelligence and the threat and if that points to a decision being made in the next several days or next several weeks, he's going to do that".

The association expects that an expansion of the ban to flights from Europe will have "significantly higher negative impacts than the existing measures".

The ban, expected to run through October this year, may also be extended in the States to include nonstop inbound flights from Europe.

Like this: