U.S. Homeland Security chief John Kelly has not made a final decision on extending a ban on larger electronic devices on airplanes, but the department still believes an expansion is likely, a spokesman said on Tuesday.
Fears that a bomb could be concealed in electronic devices prompted the United States to announce in March it would restrict passengers from bringing devices larger than cellphones on flights originating from 10 airports, including in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. Britain followed suit with restrictions on a slightly different set of routes.
DHS spokesman David Lapan declined to offer guidance on when a decision on an expansion would be made, but reiterated it was likely the restrictions would be expanded. He also said any expansion could affect international airports in Europe and elsewhere.
European Union and U.S. officials will meet on Wednesday to discuss airline security, including a possible extension of a ban on passengers carrying laptops in aircraft cabins, a European Commission spokesman said.
The meeting was arranged during a phone call between Kelly and EU ministers on Friday. DHS Deputy Secretary Elaine Duke will attend the meeting.
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In 2016, 30 million people flew to the United States from Europe, according to U.S. Transportation Department data.