Airlines Meet with Homeland Security on Laptop Ban


The Trump administration is likely to implement an in-cabin ban on electronic gadgets larger than cellphones.

Citing fear of bombs packaged as laptop computers, the Department of Homeland Security is weighing rules that would ban electronic gadgets larger than cell phones from airplane cabins for flights from some European airports.

The agency briefed executives from Delta, United, American, and the trade group Airlines for America in a confidential meeting on Thursday, May 11.

The U.S. implemented laptop restrictions on flights originating in 10 airports in the Middle East due to fears that a concealed bomb could be installed in a laptop or other device. Those restrictions have been in place since March.

The administration is also studying strategies to prevent lithium batteries stored in luggage from exploding during flight.

Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan declined said on Wednesday that no final decision had been made on expanding laptop restrictions.

Airlines have indicated that they would need advance notice to implement a laptop ban. Some officials say establishing the ban would require airlines to hire more staff.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly met with senators in a secure Capitol Hill facility to brief them on security concerns, including threats to aviation. A congressional official familiar with the briefing said it seemed likely that Homeland Security was likely to expand the laptop ban soon.

Homeland Security chief Kelly reported last month that the intelligence community had discovered that terrorists were trying to hide explosives in laptop computers and other electronic devices.