U.S. likely to expand airline laptop ban to Europe: government officials

U.S. likely to expand airline laptop ban to Europe: government officials

U.S. likely to expand airline laptop ban to Europe: government officials

Since March, large portable electronic devices like laptops, tablets and e-readers have not been allowed in the cabin on US -bound flights from eight Muslim majority countries in the middle east and northern Africa.

The move, which would impact routes that carry as many as 65 million people a year on over 400 daily flights, would expand a ban already in place for planes flying out of eight Middle Easte and African countries.

Six US and European officials said they expect the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to make an announcement but declined to say when.

Bloomberg quoted Burke as saying in an email, "DHS continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary to keep air travelers safe".

Homeland Security officials briefed airline representatives on May 11, 2017, on a proposal to expand the ban on laptops to include more worldwide flights.

But a USA official disagreed with that assessment.

Passengers traveling with affected devices will be required to store them in their checked baggage.

Top European Union officials are demanding urgent meetings with the U.S.to discuss the looming ban.

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"We're expecting something to happen, we're just not sure exactly what or when", said a senior executive at a major European airline.

The airlines have been trying to persuade the government to consider other security measures that would not prevent business travelers - who drive a lot of profit for the industry - and other passengers from using laptops and other electronic devices, Bloomberg said. 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 injunction was issued after U.S. intelligence officials allegedly discovered terrorist organisations, namely Islamic State, were developing a bomb that could be hidden in portable electronic devices.

Numerous flights are operated by USA airlines such as Delta, United and American, or their European partners.

At the same time, they said, they have asked experts to examine the safety risk of a sudden influx of electronic devices in cargo holds.

Commenting on these tests, the Federation of Airline Pilots' Associations, IFALPA, representing airline pilots worldwide, said, "In fact, the fire proceeded is if the halon were not present".

Following the USA announcement in March, Britain implemented a similar measure on flights from six Middle Eastern countries.

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