THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (DHS) is said to be preparing to announce a ban on laptops in the cabins of all flights from Europe to the US.
So says the Daily Beast, which has been tipped off by European security officials which claim that an official announcement on the ban will be made later on Thursday.
This will mean that, if you're travelling from the UK to the States, you'll need to check in your laptop, or similar, for it to be placed in the secure hold. If you're not checking in baggage you, er, had better leave your laptop at home.
Back in March, DHS announced a laptop ban on US-bound flights from 10 airports in North Africa and the middle east, and the UK soon followed suit. The ban came amid concerns about "terrorists' ongoing interest in targeting commercial aviation", along with heir ability to convert laptops into bombs capable of bringing down commercial airlines.
However, the laptop ban could be doing more harm than good. As we know all too well, lithium-ion battery fires are a common thing, and if a laptop was to catch fire while in the cargo hold, no-one would be able to put it out.
According to documents seen by the Daily Beast, the FAA recorded 33 incidents in 2016 of personal electronic devices carried into cabins by passengers causing fire emergencies during flights.
What's more, if the ban were to be extended, it's going to be a logistical nightmare for airlines operating between Europe and the US who likely will have to extend their pre-flight screening process.
DHS has yet to confirm that the ban will be extended, but said it continues to "evaluate the threat environment".
"No final decisions have been made on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins; however, it is under consideration," a DHS spokesperson said in a statement.
"DHS continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary to keep air travelers safe." µ
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