USA airplane laptop ban could be extended to Europe

No U.S. carriers are subject to the ban, but expanding it to all flights originating in Europe would change that.

Nearly two months after the Department of Homeland Security instituted a ban on large electronics on US -bound flights from several countries in the Middle East, the agency is considering expanding the prohibition to flights from Europe. "We are just waiting on the order". Passengers on those flights are now required to carry anything bigger than a smartphone in checked baggage.

Shortly after the original ban was announced the Flight Safety Foundation, an aviation safety group, warned that it could create risks by shifting more lithium-battery powered devices to cargo holds.

Six U.S. and European officials said they expect the Department of Homeland Security to make an announcement but declined to say when, according to Reuters.

According to Reuters, European flight regulators said that storing a large number of devices in the hold on long-haul flights could pose fire hazard.

The spokesperson described the call as "a very constructive exchange of views" and said the European Union had invited USA officials to Brussels next week for talks "to jointly assess the potential risks and review future measures".

"[Personal electronic devices] containing lithium batteries are considered as risky goods".

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"The Commission is keen to work closely with all worldwide partners - including the US authorities - on identifying developing threats in aviation and the best ways to address them together", Itkonen said. Lithium-powered batteries have been linked to fires.

The International Civil Aviation Organization advised global regulators a year ago to ban carrying bulk shipments of such batteries in the cargo holds of passenger jets.

Airline travel might get even harder.

Emirates reduced its number of flights to the US following the ban, which led to a decrease in demand for the routes.

A spokesman stated that DHS chief John Kelly "hasn't made a decision but we continue to evaluate the threat environment and have engaged in discussions with airline representatives and other stakeholders about the threat".

A French official with direct knowledge about Friday's meeting said France planned to push back against the measure, saying there was no information to suggest a significant increase in the terror threat.

If the ban is enacted, airlines will have another issue to consider.

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