The U.S. will not extend the laptop ban to flights from
Europe to the U.S. for now, but the possibility is still "on the table,"
the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday.
"While a much-discussed expansion of the ban on large
electronic devices in the cabin on flights to the United States was not
announced today, [DHS Secretary John Kelly] made it clear that an expansion is
still on the table," DHS press secretary Dave Lapan said in a statement
about a conversation between Kelly and European officials. "Kelly affirmed
he will implement any and all measures necessary to secure commercial aircraft
flying to the United States -- including prohibiting large electronic devices
from the passenger cabin -- if the intelligence and threat level warrant it."
Lapan said that during a phone discussion between Kelly and European
Home Affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and European Commission transport
commissioner Violeta Bulc about aviation security, both parties "agreed on
the need to raise the bar for aviation security globally, including through a
range of potential seen and unseen enhancements" and agreed to work
together to secure global aviation and maintain lines of communication and
U.S. and European officials have been mulling a possible
extension to Europe of the large personal electronic device (PED) ban currently
in place on flights from several Middle East and North Africa airports to the
U.S. and the U.K., which travel groups have said would be disruptive to the industry.
According to the Airports Council International Europe,
there are 3,684 weekly flights from European airports to the U.S., and that 60%
to 90% of passengers on those flights carry PEDs.