What the Laptop Ban Expansion Means

USA and European Union (EU) officials met on Wednesday to discuss expansion of a US ban on in-flight laptops on planes from Europe.

The White House has defended Trump's decision to share classified information involving an Islamic State group terror threat related to the use of laptops on aircraft with the Russian foreign minister and Russian ambassador.

Last year, 30 million people flew from Europe to the United States, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data.

A wider ban could cost travelers more than $1 billion, the group said earlier Wednesday. The US in March prohibited passengers from carrying such devices on board when traveling from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa.

"The current measures are not an acceptable long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate", added de Juniac. The E.U. and U.S. delegation, led by Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, did not talk about implementing the electronics ban to flights from European countries, according to the Guardian.

Although a final decision has not been made, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has said that an expansion of the ban to flights originating in Europe is likely.

ACI Europe has voiced concerns about the significant operational disruption of an extended ban, including the need for a very large number of additional security staff, ad-hoc gate screening for each flight, special loading processes to get the electronic devices into the hold of aircraft and possible grouping of U.S. flight gates for the new measures, putting extra pressure on already stretched infrastructure.

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European Union officials had called the meeting, described as an exchange of views, following USA announcements to possibly extend the electronic restrictions onto US-bound flights from Europe.

"We don't doubt the security threats that have led to consideration of extending the ban on devices but we urge the authorities to carefully assess the additional fire risk from storing more PEDs in the hold to ensure we're not solving one problem by creating a worse one", he said. The Federal Aviation Administration has recommended that U.S. airlines ban such batteries from cargo holds, as has the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) at the United Nations. "Neither were any other measures decided during this meeting", reiterated the European commission's chief spokesman, Margaritis Schinas, in a daily press conference in Brussels.

While the proposed ban is still in the proposal stage, it could go into effect at any time.

ACI Europe Director General Olivier Jankovec also pointed at the economic impact the existing laptop ban has had on Middle Eastern airlines.

That may not be the case, though, as a new report suggests that a ban on laptops on flights out of Europe is "off the table".

Steve Landells, a safety expert at the British Airline Pilots Association, said there was a greater risk of lithium battery fires if larger devices were kept in an aircraft's hold.

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