DHS considers laptop ban expansion

DHS considers laptop ban expansion

DHS considers laptop ban expansion

A USA ban on laptops and tablets in cabins of trans-Atlantic flights to the United States appeared all but inevitable Friday after Department of Homeland Security officials briefed European governments on a proposal that would affect millions of passengers.

The DHS is expected to meet with airlines again this week and it's possible that we could hear an official announcement regarding the expansion of the ban, but for now nothing has been officially announced.

United States and European officials said they expect the DHS to announce the ban as soon as Thursday.

The ban affected direct flights to the United States from a number of airports in Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. The United Kingdom quickly followed suit and passed a ban on large electronic devices on select flights from Middle Eastern countries.

A congressional official said it appeared that Homeland Security was likely to expand the ban soon, but did not say when or to what airports. Officials are now "weighing the advantages of expanding the ban against disruptions it could cause", CBS News reported Monday.

The Trump administration is considering a further expansion of the ban on using laptops on commercial flights to cover European travel, reports have claimed.

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

The issue stems from March, when the U.S. imposed a slew of laptop restrictions on flights coming from as many as 10 airports.

The controversial security measures have been criticized by Middle Eastern airlines and other aviation experts, who have questioned the rationale for the policy, complained about the impact on their business, and warned of safety risks associated with carrying large numbers of lithium batteries in the cargo hold of aircraft.

Government officials have been meeting with USA airlines on a almost weekly basis to discuss how such a ban might be implemented and plan to do so again on Thursday, according to reports. Therefore, existing security procedures for Lufthansa Group-US flights remain unchanged for the time being.

One issue under discussion is how to ensure that lithium batteries in any large collection of devices stored in air plane holds do not explode in midair. In 2016, 30 million people flew to the United States from Europe, according to U.S. Transportation Department data.

Ironically, the ban itself is meant to mitigate the threat of terrorists smuggling explosive devices on board in electronic devices.

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