Expanded laptop ban could cover half a million travelers a day

The TSA order, which does not have a stated end date, covers laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, and handheld gaming devices larger than a smartphone. It was said that the ban could be extended to flights departing Europe as well.

Speaking on Fox News Sunday about the security issue, Kelly was asked directly if he meant to extend the ban to flights into and out of the country.

American officials recently met with European leaders to discuss expanding the travel restriction to flights between the United States and EU. "There's a real threat".

Kelly also told Wallace that there are "numerous threats against aviation". "That's really the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it's a US carrier, particularly if it's full of mostly USA folks".

The initial ban applied to passengers boarding US-bound flights from Amman, Jordan; Cairo, Egypt; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The UK issued similar rules for flights from six countries.

A ban has been in place since March on direct flights from 10 Middle Eastern and North African destinations and the U.S. recently caused a furore when it suggested the ban could be extended to Europe.

American officials lately had a meeting with Europe's leaders to negotiate expanding the travel ban to flights between the USA and EU.

"The responses of Canada, the European Union and Australia to the same intelligence demonstrate that a ban on large electronic devices in the cabin is not the only way forward", the association's CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said in a statement.

The comments amplified what Kelly said Friday as he toured Washington Reagan National Airport on the eve of the busy summer travel season, when he said he was working with airlines and security officials throughout Europe and Asia to raise the bar on aviation security. Airlines expected the ban to expand, and experts said the ban was only in its early roll-out stage, meant to get travelers used to the idea of increased security checks.

Kelly acknowledged the possible expansion in an interview on "Fox News Sunday".

  • Leroy Wright