Fears laptop ban could extend to Europe-US flights

Passengers waiting to board a flight out of Charles de Gaulle airport
A ban on laptops in flights heading to the USA could be extended to Europe

EU calls for urgent talks after US officials suggest restrictions could be extended

The EU has demanded an urgent meeting with US officials over an apparent plan to ban passengers flying to the US from European airports from taking laptops into the cabins on transatlantic flights.

Earlier this week, a spokesman for the US Department of Homeland Security suggested that a ban that is already in place for travellers from a number of Middle Eastern countries could be extended to include flights from Europe.

European Commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos and Violeta Bulc, in charge of Internal Affairs and Transport respectively, 'Sent a letter to their American counterparts on Tuesday', a spokesman for the Commission said.

"The United States and the EU have a long and fruitful cooperation in the field of security and in particular in the field of aviation safety," and this letter aims, "to continue this cooperation and to provide a common response to shared threats," the spokesman said.

If it comes into effect, the decision would mean that electronic devices larger than a smartphone would not be permitted in the cabins of US-bound flights from some European airports, but would have to be checked into the flight's hold.

Airports and airlines in Europe have reportedly been working on plans for a possible extension of the ban.

But European regulators have warned that a large number of devices in a long-haul flight's hold could increase the risk of fire from the lithium-ion batteries.

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