Homeland Security considers banning laptops on all flights

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WASHINGTON — Department of Homeland Security officials will speak with airline industry representatives on Thursday about the electronics ban on aircraft as the agency considers an expansion of a security measure, according to DHS and industry sources.

The discussion, the latest in a series of meetings that have been held, will include domestic and international airline industry officials, an airline industry source said.

In addition, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly will head to Capitol Hill on Thursday to speak with lawmakers about aviation security issues, including consideration of expanding the ban, according to a homeland security official.

The DHS official stressed no decision is anticipated.

The meeting comes as DHS considers increasing the the number of flights where large devices such as laptops will be banned from carry-on luggage because of increased terrorism concerns.

The ban currently is in place at 10 airports in eight countries.

Officials have said recently an expansion is “likely.”

“No final decisions have been made on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins; however, it is under consideration. DHS continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary,” the agency said in a statement.

Kelly told a congressional committee last month that the threat behind the ban is “real.”

“It’s real. I think it’s getting realer, so to speak,” Kelly said in early April. “We may take measures in the not-too-distant future to expand the number of airports.”

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