U.S. puts a hold on laptop ban for flights to Europe
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that the proposal to ban large electronics on flights to and from Europe — expanding the ban already in place for some Middle Eastern airports — is on hold.
However, that doesn't mean the idea is going away.
“While the Secretary has not made a final decision on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins to additional last points of departure, it is still under consideration,” DHS said in a statement.
As with the restrictions on Middle Eastern airports and airlines, leadership from the White House has cited security concerns. Intel gathered during a raid in Yemen led security experts to believe terrorists were attempting to smuggle bombs inside large electronics, according to the DHS.
Air France and Lufthansa had already begun to prepare for the ban, however they did not give specifics as to what their plan would look like,Bloomberg reported.
Some industry experts have criticized the existing ban, saying it is unlikely to make passengers any safer. Out of some 247 attacks on airports in the last 10 years, none have involved bombs smuggled through security.
Additionally, an increased number of lithium-ion batteries in the cargo hold could also increase the possibility of a fire on-board, Reuters reported.