EU, US to meet on airline security
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 22:16
He said: "We don't doubt the security threats that have led to consideration of extending the ban on devices, but we urge the authorities to carefully assess the additional fire risk from storing more PEDs in the hold to ensure we're not solving one problem by creating a worse one".
The Trump administration is actively considering whether to bar carrying large electronics onto flights from Europe due to terrorism threats, an idea that the White House will discuss with European Union officials during high-level talks in Brussels on Wednesday. Homeland Security officials say they are concerned a radicalized European citizen who may have traveled to Islamic State territory might try to plant a bomb on a US -bound plane.
The ban would dwarf in size the current one, which affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East.
International Air Transport Association CEO Alexandre de Juniac wrote a letter to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and European Commission Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc on Tuesday expressing "serious concern regarding the negative impact" an expansion of the ban would have on passengers, airlines and the global economy.
"Participants provided insight into existing aviation security standards and detection capabilities as well as recent security enhancements on both sides of the Atlantic related to large electronic devices placed in checked baggage", they said in the statement.
USA and European Union officials will meet next week in Washington D.C. for more talks about risks to air travel, but no extension of a cabin ban on large electronics devices was announced after the two sides met in Brussels on Wednesday.
News editor Johanna Jainchill experienced the electronics ban on a flight from Dubai.
The current ban - affecting travelers on flights from Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Morocco - was imposed in March.
The goal of Wednesday's talks is to "create a consultation, create a sharing of information", said an European Union diplomat, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because the talks were ongoing.
In April, we first reported that USA intelligence and law enforcement agencies believed that ISIS and other terrorist organizations had developed new ways to place explosives in laptops and other electronic devices to evade airport security screening methods.
DHS officials have previously said no decisions about the ban have been made and conversations with USA airlines remain ongoing.
The likely introduction of an expanded ban suggests that the threat is real, and not a backdoor effort to hamstring some Middle East airlines who US carriers say compete unfairly for long-haul traffic.
The move, which requires passengers to put the devices into checked baggage, came amid concerns that jihadist groups were devising bombs disguised as batteries in consumer electronics items.
Russian Federation has not adopted a European laptop flight ban, despite evidently having being briefed by the U.S. pres.
The media reported last week that the Trump administration was likely to review the current ban, expanding it to U.S. airlines.
"As prime minister protecting our national security and the national interest, I have to be circumspect and discreet on matters of national security", Mr Turnbull said.
Two airline officials who were briefed on the discussions said Homeland Security gave no timetable for an announcement, but they were resigned to its inevitability.
The European Union and airline pilots are also anxious about potential safety issues.