Homeland Security Puts Electronic Ban on Hold (for Now)

This past Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security made a statement that the ban on large electronics for flights to Europe is on hold for now.

If the ban does go through it will have consequences, especially for business travelers who use the flight time to work. In 2016 alone, 30 million people flew from Europe to the U.S.

Airlines like Air France and Lufthansa are already preparing in case the ban does go through.

Although the ban was proposed to reduce terrorist attacks, industry experts have already stated that its likelihood of increasing passenger safety is low. Of the 247 attacks on airplanes in the past 10 years, only 27 have had four or more casualties and none have involved the attacker passing through security with a bomb. 

Fire hazards are another added risk— lithium-ion batteries used in large electronic devices can ignite if not de-activated properly. Battery-based fires have destroyed three cargo planes, and new testing has shown that even with systems in place to suppress fire they still can ignite and explode.

The restrictions on electronics in flights is nothing new. Earlier this year, the U.S. DHS banned anything larger than a cell phone for passengers coming from 10 Middle Eastern airports.

These restrictions are based on information discovered during a raid in Yemen that revealed plans for terrorists to use commercial electronics to smuggle bombs into the U.S.

The Secretary has not made a decision on the ban, but the statement from the DHS clearly said, “It is still under consideration.” 

There was no timeline given for when the final decision will be made.