There are indications once again that the cabin electronics ban that was put in place in March on flights from 10 airports in 8 countries primarily in the Middle East and Africa will soon be expanded to flights from Europe to the United States and possibly even to flights outbound from the US to Europe.
CBS News is reporting that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials have been considering expanding the ban for some time now and have met regularly with airline officials regarding the plan, with a final decision on implementation possible in the next few weeks. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would neither confirm nor deny the report. “We have not made any decisions on expanding the electronics ban; however, we are continuously assessing security directives based on intelligence and will make changes when necessary to keep travelers safe,” the agency told CBS News in a statement.
However, TPG Contributor and aviation analyst Alex Macheras also posted on Twitter that a source has told him the ban will be in effect on flights from Europe to the US in a matter of weeks.
If the reports end up being accurate, travelers between the United States and Europe could expect significant disruptions and inconvenience. TPG writers who traveled on Emirates, Etihad and Qatar soon after the ban was implemented found inconsistencies and confusion in enforcement procedures, especially in the early days when airline staffers had not been fully trained on the specifics of the ban.
This is not the first time there have been reports of a possible expansion of the ban to Europe. A few weeks ago The Guardian reported that the Trump administration was considering extending the ban, but the TSA later told Bloomberg News that there were no “imminent” plans to do so. Still, the ongoing reports from reputable news sources indicate that a European-focused electronics ban is at least under serious consideration by US security agencies.
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