battery fires

May 19, 2017

Trump’s advisors may be backing off cabin battery ban extensions

The lucky country may just fly under the radar of politically driven terrorism hysterics once more

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

BBC illustration of the risks of the Trump requirement of under floor carriage of pax devices

Subtlety may not rate highly in the Trump White house, but it seems it is trying to back away from triggering global bans on privately owned laptops and tablet devices in the hands of passengers in the cabins of airliners flying into the US.

For example, yesterday AusBT highlighted this encouraging story by the BBC, which coincidentally dropped any official reference to apparent lying by President Trump about specific threats that ISIS was planning dastardly deeds with miniature passenger carried electronic devices carrying small quantities of explosives.

That desirable analysis which might hopefully prove correct has however been contradicted by more recent US reports from Washington DC including from the generally speaking somewhat less accurate CNBC website.

Who are we to believe? The consistent clues in both reports that a global ban might be averted by an outbreak of common sense in the Trump administration start with a studied lack of urgency that has overtaken the earlier emphasis on strong intelligence concerning an attack using devices on selected ME carrier flights that somehow avoided acknowledging the existence of connections that would bypass such bans that occur at many dozens of airport/airline combinations between the states said to be the source of the now non-existent threat and the US.

The ‘genius’ at play in the Trump initiative was that it risked the lives of entire jet loads of passengers should one of those devices spontaneously combust and explode in a hard to reach checked luggage hold rather than in a cabin where there is a proven ability for trained flight attendants to quench such occurrences without delay.

The next clue comes from the narrative the US and EU officials are exploring (in a form of words if nothing else) alternative ‘enhancements’ to their current commonly aligned yet sometimes differently applied anti-terrorism measures.

Provided those enhancements have nothing in common with routine improvements poorly prepared IT departments inflict on Australians who rely in daily life on internet banking or publishing systems this has to be encouraging.

In fact there is ‘no reference’ to Australian flights to the US being affected in any of the US reports of recent weeks.

The lucky country may just fly under the radar of politically driven hysterics once more (but we cannot be so lucky forever.)

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