Making waves today in the news is the announcement – that after hours of deliberation in a secure Brussels location, no plans to further ban electronics on flights from Europe to the US have been made. For now, you can still bring your laptops, iPads, noise cancelling headphones and whatever else is permitted on board – on board. While many headlines today are running wild with “Electronics ban disbanded”, that’s almost entirely inaccurate.
The proposed ban on all electronic devices being carried onto all flights from Europe to the US was discussed at great length between Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials from the United States, industry trade groups and European government and security leaders. This sharing of information and ideas, which was expected to result in the announcement of an official electronics ban surprised all, and offered no such announcement in its conclusion.
However, there’s a meeting on the books for Wednesday of next week, in Washington, where matters will be further discussed. Though many publications have chosen to gloss over the little detail, it’s widely expected from quoted officials that the ban in fact will take place next week, following those meetings. There’s no question that the economic impact of such a ban would be devastating, costing a minimum one billion in lost revenue, affecting up to 65 million passengers per year, not to mention extra time and headache. All indications suggest that a ban will be enacted on a not “if” but when basis – though the results yesterday are promising for those in hopes that other, less disruptive means could replace the current thinking. Let’s hope.