June 15, 2017
Concern that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security could expand its ban on carry-on electronic devices to include flights from Europe, and perhaps beyond, emerged as a unifying theme at the IATA Annual General Meeting here last week.
In testimony before Congress last week, Department of Homeland Security secretary John Kelly said the agency is considering expanding the ban of large carry-on electronic devices (laptops and tablets) to inbound U.S. flights from 71 airports around the world.
To fend off such an action, the airline industry is promising a coordinated effort to develop security-related alternatives to a ban.
“We need to get security right,” IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac said in his keynote speech at the conference. “There is a clear duty to make sure that the measures are logical, effective and efficient. That is not the case with the current ban, and it must change.”
The existing bans, which were separately put into effect by the U.S. and the U.K. in late March, forbid carry-on electronics larger than a cellphone on flights from selected Middle Eastern and North African countries.
The U.S. and U.K. said the ban is based on intelligence about the potential for terrorists to turn laptops and other devices into bombs.
However, the fact that the specific countries subject to the ban differ between the U.S. and the U.K. has stoked doubts both within and outside the airline industry about the edicts.
Source: Travel Weekly.