The Trump administration is reportedly considering an expansion of its large electronics ban to include flights originating from Europe.
According to the Guardian’s Chris Johnston, officials within the British government say their US counterparts are mulling over the possibility of expanding the prohibition of any electronics devices larger than a cell phone from being transported within the cabin of direct flights from Europe to the US.
The expanded may also include the UK, the Guardian reported.
A spokesperson with the US Transportation Security Administration could not confirm the veracity of the rumoured European ban, but did say that there are “no imminent changes to the electronics ban” in the pipeline.
“We are continuously assessing security directives based on intelligence and will make changes when necessary to keep travellers safe,” the TSA representative added.
Should the rumoured policy change come to fruition, it is expected to mirror the existing ban affecting nine airlines operating from 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
The enhanced security procedures that went into effect in March require passengers to place all electronic items larger than a mobile phone in their checked luggage so the devices cannot be accessed in flight. This includes laptops, tablets, e-readers, portable DVD players, gaming devices larger than a smartphone, and travel-size printers and scanners.
“Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items,” a senior administration official said regarding the initial electronics ban in March.
Since the implementation of the ban, affected airlines such as Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines have offered their US bound passengers a host of work-arounds ranging from free Wi-Fi to loaner tablets and laptops.