Intel Sharing at Heart of US, Europe Talks on Laptop Ban

19 Mai, 2017, 17:36 | Author: Marc Bacque

The latest attack on the ban came in the form of a May 16 letter from the International Air Transport Association to Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Violeta Bulc, the European Commission's Commissioner of Transport.

USA and European Union officials agreed Wednesday to scrap plans to ban laptops and tablets in cabin baggage on flights from Europe.

The proposed ban is similar to one that began in March that prohibited laptops and other large electronics from passenger cabins between certain airports in the Middle East and North Africa. That airline has already cut back on its flights to the US because of the laptop ban.

Passengers flying between Europe and the USA can continue to take laptops and tablets in their hand luggage for now at least, following a meeting between European Union and U.S. officials in Brussels on Wednesday.

Officials from the United States and the European Union met on 17 May to discuss the possibility of a ban on laptops and tablets in cabin baggage.

"Secretary Kelly has made no decision on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins, but the decision is now under consideration", the senior official said.

Chief among the Europeans' concerns is the fire risk from placing hundreds of devices with lithium-ion batteries in the hold.

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As anyone who's traveled on a plane since 9/11 knows, boarding a flight has become increasingly laborious in recent years due to all the new security measures adopted after the latest terrorist threat.

The decision to take no action (at present) follows strong lobbying from several quarters, including ACI Europe [see: http://www.trbusiness.com/regional-news/international/aci-warns-that-that-trust-may-be-compromised-on-security/120086] which represents more than 500 airports in 45 European countries, handling 90% of all commercial air traffic - equivalent to plus-1.9bn passengers.

An EU source described the meeting as vitally important.

A broader ban would have a significant impact United States and European carriers, which are concerned about the challenges of checking large numbers of devices.

Other groups also spoke out against the laptop ban, including Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe), which noted that between 60 and 90 percent of European travelers carry a large personal electronic device with them onto a flight.

The airline industry had feared the widening of the laptop ban would mean longer lines at security, significant delays and confusion at boarding gates during the busy summer period. As it proclaims, European travel is ridiculously lucrative for the airline industry: "The route between Europe and the U.S.is the busiest global corridor in the world".

Instead, the trade group suggested, regulators could increase the testing of passengers and their bags and electronic devices for traces of explosives, boost the use of explosive-sniffing dogs and deploy more security agents to interrogate travelers.

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