Airlines Met DHS Amid Concerns About Laptop Ban

The current ban applies to 10 airports in eight majority-Muslim countries: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, and applies to about 50 flights a day, NPR's Greg Myre reported.

Electronic devices larger than a smartphone were banned from carry-on luggage on flights from 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa back in March. Travellers on flights leaving these airports are prohibited from carrying on board any electronic items that are larger than a cell phone.

The injunction was issued after USA intelligence officials allegedly discovered terrorist organisations, namely Islamic State, were developing a bomb that could be hidden in portable electronic devices.

Peck noted that on March 31 ASTA had sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly asking a series of questions about the existing ban, including how long it will be in effect, the differences between the U.S.' and U.K.'s ban, the risk associated with checking lithium ion batteries, and other issues.

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United States officials have said the decision in March to bar laptops and tablets from the cabins of some worldwide flights, mostly from the Mideast, was bot based on any specific threat but on longstanding concerns about extremists targeting jetliners.

What we're talking about is the ban on electronic devices being used in commercial airline cabins. If expanded, it could potentially impact all of the 60 European airports with direct flights to the U.S.

The EU and the United States will hold talks next week on a possible U.S. airline ban on carry-on computers amid concerns it could cause massive disruption as the hectic summer travel season gets underway.

Some experts believe there is also a security risk in putting them in the hold given the danger of their batteries catching fire.

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Airlines told CBS News that they have begun making preparations for an extended ban, with Lufthansa saying in a statement that it "has internally evaluated different scenarios for possible enhancements to the ban".

European Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said the EU had no new information about a specific security concern.

A French official who was briefed about Friday's meeting said the Americans announced they wanted to extend the ban, and the Europeans planned to formulate a response in coming days.

USA airlines say they still hope to have a say in how the policy is put into effect at airports to minimize inconvenience to passengers.

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