Washington – US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced on Sunday that authorities are studying the possibility of banning laptops on international flights into and out of the country.
Kelly said the move would be part of a broader airline security effort to combat what he called “a real sophisticated threat.” He said no decision had been made as to the timing of any ban.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Kelly said the United States planned to “raise the bar” on airline security, including tightening screening of carry-on items.
“That’s the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it’s a US carrier, particularly if it’s full of US people.”
In March, the government imposed restrictions on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins on flights from 10 airports, including the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey.
Britain took similar measures in March targeting a smaller list of countries: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
A laptop ban could disrupt travel between Europe and America. Some 3,250 flights a week are expected this summer between European Union countries and the United States, according to aviation industry figures.
In Europe last week during President Donald Trump’s nine-day foreign trip, Kelly met with European Commission officials in Brussels to discuss a possible laptop ban in airplane cabins.