US looks set to extend laptop ban to Europe
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to ban laptops in the cabins of all flights from Europe to the United States, reports the Daily Beast. The announcement is expected today.
Initially a ban on laptops and tablets was applied only to US-bound flights from 10 airports in North Africa and the Middle East. The ban was based on US fears that terrorists have found a way to convert laptops into bombs capable of bringing down an airplane. It is unclear if the European ban will also apply to tablets.
DHS said in a statement to The Daily Beast: “No final decisions have been made on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins; however, it is under consideration. DHS continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary to keep air travelers safe.”
However, this move is increasing fears in the aviation industry that as well as guarding against bombs this ban could actually endanger flights.
FINN Editor-in-Chief, Alan Peaford, wrote more about this in his recent blog, Why airline laptop bans are about more than just security.
He writes: “Security and safety are vital but inconsistencies in the approach cast doubt on policy. If a knee-jerk policy compromises safety and beyond that, threatens the sustainability of an industry, then governments should ensure they listen to those who understand the implications first.”