Yesterday, the US has opted not to ban laptops from the cabins of planes flying between the United States and Europe, although the move remains on the table as the Trump administration examines intelligence reports on the matter.
European sources said the matter appeared closed for now after weeks of back-and-forth negotiations and panicked responses from airlines.
In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security and the Europeans have announced that the ban won’t be extended, but they agreed “on the need to raise the bar for aviation security globally, including through a range of potential seen and unseen enhancements.”
It added: “Secretary Kelly affirmed he will implement any and all measures necessary to secure commercial aircraft flying to the United States — including prohibiting large electronic devices from the passenger cabin — if the intelligence and threat level warrant it.”
Yesterday’s news came as relief to some on both sides of the Atlantic, where industry officials had feared that the restrictions could cause massive logistical bottlenecks and inconvenience business travelers. Kelly had said on “Fox News Sunday” that his department was considering imposing the ban on all U.S.-bound international flights.
Kelly held a conference call Tuesday with European Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc. The U.S. side took into account European concerns about the safety implications of storing personal electronic devices with lithium batteries in aircraft cargo holds, a European source with knowledge of the conversation said.