Proposed laptop ban on flights may expand

Pauline Gross
May 31, 2017

Now, the DHS Secretary says that ban could be expanded to all global flights coming into or leaving the U.S.

In a heightened measure against security threats, laptops may soon be banned on all flights in and out of the U.S.

Kelly added that Homeland Security planned to "raise the bar for ... aviation security much higher than it is now", and spoke of "new technologies down the road", though declined to offer any details.

In March, restrictions were announced that prevented US -bound passengers from eight Middle Eastern countries from carrying certain electronic devices in the passenger cabin.

In March, the US started banning laptops and other electronic devices on USA -bound flights from 10 airports in Jordan, Turkey, Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates. The U.K. followed with a ban for flights from six countries, not all matching the US restrictions.

"There's a real threat", he said.

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American officials lately had a meeting with Europe's leaders to negotiate expanding the travel ban to flights between the United States and EU. He said no decision has been made as to the timing of any ban. That affected about 50 flights a day from the United States on nine carriers: Egyptair, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines. The current ban was put in place because of concerns about terrorist attacks. "So, we are doing everything we can to get after these threats - but they are real".

In light of possible detection devices, Kelly said the United States will depend on "new technologies down the road" to develop the screening of electronics.

A laptop ban could disrupt travel between Europe and America.

Homeland Security secretary John Kelly testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington last Thursday before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on his department's 2018 budget.

The UK was quick to follow suit and announce a series of similar restrictions on a slightly different set of countries.

Back in March, citing a threat from terrorists "smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items", the Trump administration introduced an electronics ban on flights from a number of countries.

Other reports by GizPress

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