Tuesday, May 16, 2017
United States: Prohibition of computers in flight "probably" extended in the world
The ban on computers and electronic devices in the cabin on flights to destinations in the United States will probably be extended not only to Europe but also to other parts of the world, a US official said on Tuesday.
In March, US authorities banned passengers from ten airports in eight countries to carry laptops, tablets and other electronic devices larger than a mobile phone.
It is "likely that the restrictions put in place in March could be extended to other regions," said David Lapan, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
"But not just Europe - extended to additional regions," he added, without specifying.
Deputy Minister of DHS Elaine Duke is expected Wednesday in Brussels for talks with European partners.
These discussions will focus on the "magnitude and scope" of this ban and its consequences, Lapan said.
A US ban on laptop computers could sow chaos at European airports, with more than 3,250 weekly flights scheduled this summer between EU countries and the United States, according to figures from the airline industry.
Some experts believe that computers in checked baggage pose a risk due to the possibility that their batteries will catch fire.
David Lapan defended this possible ban, saying the authorities must follow the changing nature of terrorist threats.
"How many attempts to destroy a commercial aircraft have we seen - trapped underwear, use of liquids, use of cartridges (printer)," he said.
"It is up to us to always determine what those who want evil will do and try to stop them."
President Donald Trump is facing a political crisis after the Washington Post revelations Monday that he shared with Russian diplomats information about a terrorist threat from the Islamic state group, linked to the use of laptops on planes.