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Fri, May 19, 2017

U.S., EU To Discuss Aviation Threats In D.C. Meeting

Follows Brussels Meeting That Did Not Extend Cabin Ban On Laptops

Representatives from the U.S. and the EO will meet in Washington, D.C. next week to continue discussion on potential threats to air travel.

The meeting follows one held last week in Brussels that did not extend a cabin ban on large electronic devices, such as laptop computers and large cell phones, in airliner cabins. 

Reuters reports that, in a joint statement released after the meeting, the parties said that information was exchanged on the "serious evolving threats to aviation security and approaches to confronting such threats. The United States and the European Union reaffirmed their commitment to continue working closely together on aviation security generally, including meeting next week in Washington D.C. to further assess shared risks and solutions for protecting airline passengers, whilst ensuring the smooth functioning of global air travel."

The U.S. announced in March that it was banning passengers at 10 airports from bringing laptops into the cabins of airliners fearing that a bomb could be concealed in such electronic devices. Those airports are in the UAE Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Britain also imposed a similar ban on slightly different routes.

Reuters reports that the EU has expressed concerns about the danger of fires in cargo holds from the large number of devices with lithium-ion batteries that would be placed in checked luggage. The IATA has estimated that if the ban is extended to flights from Europe, it could cost passengers over $1 billion each year in additional fees and create safety issues.

The U.S., however, continues to hold that terrorist groups are continuing to target commercial aviation, and they are gradually pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks including smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items," according to a Trump administration official.

FMI: www.tsa.gov, europa.eu/european-union/index_en

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