Trump administration’s ban over laptops in commercial airlines could well extend to European countries as well. However, the administration is still considering how best to ensure that the Lithium-ion batteries stored in luggage holds don’t explode while being transported there. The news comes from officials of the US government.
The ban could have an impact on US carriers including the likes of United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines Group. Indeed, the US department of homeland security could make an announcement to the effect as well. DHS officials will also be meeting up with airline industry executives to discuss how to take things forward.
The issue stems from March, when the US imposed a slew of laptop restrictions on flights coming from as many as 10 airports. These airports were all based in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey and the US had cited fears that bombs could be hidden and set off in these electronic devices as its grounds for the ban.
Affected flights included those to the United States by Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.
Meanwhile, the ban could now extend to European countries as well. However, the largest issue here is making sure that lithium batteries when stored in bulk in airplane holds, do not explode in midair. Indeed, placing a lot of lithium ion powered devices in the cargo hold of an airplane could pose a danger all their own. If even one poorly deactivated batteries were to explode, there could well be a danger of midair explosions.
Several flights have also started issuing tablets to passengers to ensure that they can still avail themselves of all the services they would enjoy while using their own devices. However, that is a temporary solution at best and the government and these airlines need to come to terms with each other to arrive at a more permanent one.