The U.S. already has the ban in place from airports in the Middle East, North Africa.
Earlier this week, U.S. officials began discussions over banning electronics larger than a cell phone on flights to America from Europe as a way to deter terrorism. Our officials have already placed this ban on flights from ten airports in the Middle East and North Africa.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly discussed this ban today after many European officials expressed worry about the ban and want to persuade Kelly to change his mind.
From CNN Money:
Passengers on flights covered by the restrictions are required to carry anything bigger than a smartphone in checked baggage. But aviation experts say storing large numbers of devices with lithium batteries in the cargo hold constitutes a fire risk.
European officials, including EU transport commissioner Violeta Bulc, underscored those concerns in a call with U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security John Kelly on Friday.
“Commissioner Bulc highlighted the potential safety implications of putting a large number of electronic devices in the aircraft hold,” a European Commission spokesperson said.
The European Aviation Safety Agency mentioned these risks last month. The agency reiterated that its officials prefer for the passengers to carry laptops “in the passenger cabin.” CNN Money listed a few incidents that back up these claims:
Aviation experts worry about how lithium batteries are stored because they can produce fires that are extremely difficult to put out with on-board fire extinguishers.
The risk is documented. Two Boeing 747 crashes — a UPS freighter in 2010 and an Asiana Cargo plane in 2011 — happened after fires broke out in the cargo holds. Those were traced to palettes of lithium ion batteries.
DHS briefed officials with American, Delta, and United on Thursday on the ban. These officials did not provide details on the meeting, but the AP reported “they were resigned to its inevitability.” But the officials hope they can have a say on the restrictions.
Kelly and the White House spoke with European officials earlier today. From The Hill:
DHS Secretary John Kelly held a conference call with a number of European ministers and members of the EU’s European Commission (EC) in what was described as a “very constructive exchange of views on the way forward between the U.S. and the EU,” according to an EC spokesperson.
The administration also briefed U.S. senators and major airlines on the potential laptop ban expansion on Thursday.
DHS said it will not have a final decision before the end of the day.DONATE
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