US laptop ban might spread to Europe

United States may prohibit laptops in carry-on baggage on flights departing from Europe. American authorities may forbid any electronics, larger than conventional smartphones, on flights from the Old World, Reuters informs with a reference to sources in the U.S. Government.

The extension of the ban would also affect US carriers, such as United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. Six American and European officials reported this to Reuters. According to them, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will soon deliver a formal statement about this, but they were reluctant to tell the exact date.

DHS staff are planning to hold a meeting with representatives of air carriers on May 11 to discuss issues related to enhanced security measures for flights. On the same day, United States Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly, also intends to hold closed hearings in the Senate about the national security threat posed by passenger flights.

In turn, DHS spokesman Dave Lapan noted that 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.” If these measures are taken, the only device that can be taken on board the aircraft will be a mobile phone.

In March, the US announced a ban on the transport of laptops and other electronics, the size of which exceeds the size of a regular cell phone, in hand luggage on flights to the United States from 10 airports, including airports in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Washington fears that Al-Qaeda or ISIS terrorists could hide a bomb in a laptop and make it from materials that are not visible to airport security systems. The US special services have been warning the public about it.

The ban on the transportation of laptops and other electronics, larger than the usual smartphone, concerns direct flights to the United States of the following airlines: Royal Jordanian Airlines; Egypt Air; Turkish Airlines; Saudi Arabian Airlines; Kuwait Airways; Royal Air Maroc; Qatar Airways; Emirates and Etihad Airways departing from the Middle East.