US airline laptop ban may extend to Europe

Posted May 13, 2017

Homeland Security Secretary John Kell briefed members of the US Congress on Thursday and also met with executives at Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines.

A ban on carry-on laptops is already in place for US-bound flights from 10 airports located in Middle Eastern and North African countries, including Morocco, the UAE, Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. The expansion is being considered over concerns of radicalized European Union citizens, dual-citizenship European Union citizens who also hold citizenship in Middle Eastern countries, and terrorists flying through Europe to get to the US with a bomb-rigged device - even though Britain (whose London-Heathrow airport is where 17 percent of all flights to the USA originate) also imposed similar restrictions in March. "DHS continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary to keep air travelers safe", Lapan tweeted.

The DHS, however, is said to be mulling over expanding that laptop ban to include still unnamed European countries. The report explains that officials have been meeting with airlines on a weekly basis to discuss the ban expansion. One European official acknowledged that the expanded ban could affect flights to the United States from Britain.

Lufthansa group made a statement yesterday relating to the rumors on the ban of electronic devices on flights to the United States from Europe.

The DHS says it's a matter of safety, and says there is a danger of bombs being taken on board hidden inside larger electronics.

According to Reuters , the usa government is reviewing how to make sure lithium batteries that get stored in the luggage don't explode during flights.

Britain is joining the US effort to tighten security on commercial airliners from some Middle Eastern and North African countries over a potent...

Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos wrote in a letter obtained by POLITICO (and transcribed here) that "it is in our common interest that we work closely together to address developing threats in aviation, in advance of any potential application of new security measures".

But the official said late Wednesday that US airlines had not been told when, or even if, a ban would be implemented. In 2016, 30 million people flew to the United States from Europe, according to U.S. Transportation Department data.

DHS said the ban was put into effect after a number of "credible threats" gathered by intelligence agencies suggested large electronics could be stuffed with explosives.