Thursday, 23 November, 2017

US, European officials to discuss proposed expansion of in-flight laptop ban

Javier Burns | 15 May, 2017, 17:31

According to CNN, officials have said an expansion is "likely" but no decision has been made yet. Both US and European officials have said that they're waiting on the US Department of Homeland Security to make an announcement, but it is not yet clear as to when that might happen. European airport security measures are closely aligned with American measures, and US aviation security has had its own failures.

The move, which forces passengers to put their devices into checked baggage, came as counter-terror officials developed concerns that jihadist groups were devising bombs disguised as batteries in consumer electronics. It said the ban had a direct impact on demand for air travel into the US and it faced rising costs from introducing complimentary laptop loans to some passengers.

On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill, to lay out the groundwork, according to two Capitol Hill sources.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security organized a telephone conference with "key European partners" - France, Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy.

The UK and the United States have banned laptops and tablet computers from the passenger compartment of flights from several Middle East and North African nations.

Homeland Security said in a statement Wednesday that the restriction was under consideration.

ACC and Notre Dame Extend Partnership
On Thursday morning, the ACC announced the five annual games its member schools will play against Notre Dame in upcoming seasons. Several showdowns between the Tigers and Fighting Irish are in the future.

The United Kingdom has a similar ban in place for some in-bound flights, although its list of targeted countries differs from that of the United States.

Some airline stocks were lower on Thursday. United Airlines shares were trading down 1% in NY.

European Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said DHS Secretary John Kelly and "a number" of European ministers were scheduled to hold the talks late Friday.

The officials had asked that the USA and Europe continue to cooperate on a "joint response to shared threats".

CNN cited unnamed intelligence officials saying that terrorists would have a more hard time detonating an explosive remotely and that placing the laptops and other devices in the cargo bay might reduce damage even if a bomb were to explode. The head of the International Air Transport Association, Alexandre de Juniac, told CNNMoney in March that it wasn't an appropriate solution to the threat, would hurt the airlines affected, and should be overturned.

The current ban, which affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, does not prevent passengers from checking laptops and other electronic devices into luggage holds.

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