Planes at Heathrow Airport near London on Oct. 11, 2016.
Stefan Wermuth / Reuters
The Department of Homeland Security is considering banning laptops in all airplane cabins on flights from Europe to the US.
The agency confirmed to BuzzFeed News Wednesday that a large electronics ban is “under consideration.” However, the agency also said that “no final decisions have been made on expanding the restriction on large electronic devices in aircraft cabins.”
Passengers at LAX go through security on Aug. 28, 2016.
Bob Riha Jr / Reuters
“DHS continues to evaluate the threat environment and will make changes when necessary to keep air travelers safe,” the agency said in an email.
The Daily Beast first reported the potential large electronics ban, citing European officials, and said it would be announced Thursday.
European aviation officials did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' questions Wednesday.
The US first banned laptops in plane cabins in March. However, that ban only included flights heading to the US from 10 airports in Turkey, the Middle East, and Africa. After that ban went into affect, DHS issued a statement citing the “2015 airliner downing in Egypt, the 2016 attempted airliner downing in Somalia, and the 2016 armed attacks against airports in Brussels and Istanbul” as examples of why increased security was needed.
DHS also said at the time that terrorists were “aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.”
The March ban included laptops and other large electronic devices, such as tablets, e-readers, cameras, and portable DVD players. On flights where large electronics are banned, passengers are required to place their devices in checked baggage.
Though the scope of the March laptop ban was limited to 10 airports, aviation observers quickly began speculating about how it could be expanded.
“Let’s not forget, it wasn’t that long ago after 9/11 that they were banning all electronics,” John Goglia, an aviation safety consultant and former member of the National Transportation Safety Board, told BuzzFeed News in March. “We may be going back to that.”
Leticia Miranda contributed to this report.