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US likely to expand airline laptop ban to Europe

19 May 2017, 08:02 | Taylor George

US likely to expand airline laptop ban to Europe

22 2017 shows a Syrian woman travelling to the United States through Amman Jordan opening her laptop before checking in at Beirut international airport

Homeland Security officials briefed airline representatives on May 11, 2017, on a proposal to expand the ban on laptops to include more global flights. The report also said that the ban could impact United Airlines (UAL.N), Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N), and American Airlines Group (AAL.O).

European airlines are preparing for the anticipated widening of a US ban on bringing laptops and other large electronic devices on board planes bound for American airports.

Britain quickly followed suit with restrictions on a slightly different set of routes.

The Transportation Security Administration said in a statement: "We have not made any decisions on expanding the electronics ban; however, we are continuously assessing security directives based on intelligence and will make changes when necessary to keep travelers safe".

One issue that has become a focus for security officials is how to make sure that lithium batteries used in laptops aren't turned into bombs that can be detonated mid-air even if stored in luggage holds.

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

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DHS has yet to confirm that the ban will be extended, but said it continues to "evaluate the threat environment".

Two airline officials who were briefed on the discussions said Homeland Security gave no timetable for an announcement, but they were resigned to its inevitability.

The FAA recorded 33 incidents in 2016 of personal electronic devices carried into cabins by passengers causing fire emergencies during flights, according to an FAA document reviewed by The Daily Beast.

The EU and the United States will hold talks next week on a possible U.S. airline ban on carry-on computers amid concerns it could cause massive disruption as the hectic summer travel season gets underway.

Last month, the U.S. banned laptops on flights from countries including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey following fears that laptop batteries could be used to house bombs.

Another government official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the new ban was being considered because the USA government considered immigration policies in Europe to be lax. As of now, there are no plans to expand the ban to flights leaving the U.S.



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