Intel sharing at heart of US, Europe talks on laptop ban

In a recent open letter the Business Travel Coalition (BTC) warned that expanding the ban to include flights from Europe could affect as many as 3,500 flights a week during the busy summer travel season, and 65 million passengers per year.

"It's a big source of profit for both US and European carrier", he said.

According to some experts, a bomb in the cabin would be easier to make compared in the cargo.

Visitors from Britain, Germany and France spend $31 billion each year on tourism and airfares to the U.S., according to the U.S. Travel Association. Administration officials have insisted Trump did nothing wrong in the disclosure, but they also requested that the Washington Post not publish specific aspects of the intelligence. The official said the primary questions revolved around when and how - and not whether - the ban would be imposed.

The goal of Wednesday's talks is to "create a consultation, create a sharing of information", said an European Union diplomat, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because the talks were ongoing.

US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) spokesman David Lapan said on Tuesday it is "likely that the restrictions that were put in place in March could be expanded to other areas".

USA and European officials will discuss Wednesday, May 17, 2017, plans to broaden a US ban on in-flight laptops and tablets to include planes from Europe. They shared details about aviation security standards and will discuss the topic further next week. They spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the meeting publicly.

The group estimates that based on a sample of European airports, 60% to 90% of passengers on those flights carry PEDs on flights to the U.S.

ACI Europe Director General Olivier Jankovec also pointed at the economic impact the existing laptop ban has had on Middle Eastern airlines. It also said the ban had had a direct impact on demand for air travel into the U.S., and it faced rising costs from introducing complimentary laptop loans to some passengers.

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"It's not like losing your water bottle or your scissors".

Small business consultant Gene Marks said he and many of his clients work when flying to and from Europe.

The policy would "require the deployment of a very large number of additional security staff" to handle additional screening checks for each flight and to load PEDs into the hold of aircraft among other changes needed to accommodate the ban, staff that would need to be hired and trained. "Even in the short term it is hard to understand their effectiveness".

Already facing opposition from the European Union, the proposals are now under attack from the International Air Transport Association, which represents 265 major airlines. European transportation guidelines have generally suggested carrying on laptops and other electronic devices with lithium batteries, which can combust during flights if packed together tightly.

The US ban on laptops and tablets affects flights from Amman, Kuwait City, Cairo, Istanbul, Jeddah, Riyadh, Casablanca, Doha, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The ban would add an additional nuisance to the the two-thirds of transatlantic passengers who travel with an electronic device larger than a cell phone.

"If some flights' options allow certain electronics or provide substitutes", Surry said, "it may sway the traveler's decision about which airline to fly".

Hinnant reported from Paris.

Information for this article was contributed by Michael Birnbaum, Lori Aratani and Annabell Van den Berghe of The Washington Post and by Lorne Cook, Lori Hinnant and Ken Guggenheim of The Associated Press.

Corrects to Friday, sted Saturday, in second to last paragraph.

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