Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Europe to discuss measures to avert expanded US laptop ban

European officials will meet with the US Department of Homeland Security  this week to seek out new measures to prevent the US government from expanding a ban on laptops beyond flights from 10 Middle East and North Africa airports, said a report.

US Homeland Security chief John Kelly told a House panel last week that the administration was considering extending the ban to 71 airports in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said a report in Reuters.

Other security measure enhancements suggested by the US included explosive trace detection screening, increased vetting of airports' staff and additional detection dogs.

David Lapan, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman, said the US would not present a definitive list to Europeans to avoid a ban but rather options under consideration.

He said that "it remains to be seen" if enhanced security measures could allow reversal of existing airports under the ban.

The restrictions on laptops were first announced in March for US-bound flights originating from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, the report said.

The administration has been considering an expansion of the security measure as a means to "combat terrorism", it said.

DHS officials are attending the meeting in Malta "to present what we think are the minimum increased security standards...and present those to people to say if you meet these standards we will not ban large electronics," Kelly said.

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