25 May 2017
By Bryan T. Smyth
Clune warns of the impact on business travel between Ireland and the US – if laptop ban goes ahead
3,684 weekly flights between European airports and the United States could be effected as the US look to extend the laptop ban on flights from Europe.
Cork based MEP Deirdre Clune has called for US authorities to continue to engage with European officials on proposals to extend a ban on all large electronic devices on flights from Europe to the US. She said that the US should not act alone and without the agreement of its EU counterparts.
The US announced in March that it would restrict passengers from bringing devices larger than cell phones onto flights originating from 10 airports, including those in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Britain followed suit with restrictions on a slightly different set of routes.
Clune described a survey released this week by the Business Travel Coalition as worrying. The survey shows that any proposed ban on laptops in flights could lead to a 25% reduction in business travel. The survey also showed that 60% of companies have policies that do not allow laptops to be stored in the planes hold.
Clune said any security measures we enact to protect ourselves should not disrupt our ability to travel and remain productive.
“The goal of these people is to close down our economies. We cannot allow them to dictate our movements and impact on how we live our lives. Security measures are essential but should be proportionate to the risk. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a Safety notice earlier this year warning against the carriage of devises like laptops in the cargo holds of planes due to the risk of fire from Lithium batteries. A US ban on laptops in the cabin would be an effective ban on laptops and similar devices like the iPad.