Jun 29, 2017

Trump dropping cabin computer ban, but media too deferential to say so

Airlines world wide will be relieved as Trump administration signals it is giving up on cabin computer carry on bans

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

A rare photo of smooth security screening at Miami airport

The slow but laughable retreat by the Trump White House from unsafely consigning some passenger carried devices to underfloor storage on flights from countries where the president has no personal investments continues apace.

You would never know this from a quick read of the more obsequious media reports abroad, but there must be a deep sense of relief in Qantas and Virgin Australia in relation to the risk that the original bans would spread to their flights to the US.

And you won’t read about them as much as one might expect, as this very detailed report in ATW  points out that the nitty gritty of the new ‘enhanced’ security procedures, which basically endorse what we currently do, are to be suppressed by a presidency that has no respect for administrative transparency.

This is a key paragraph in that report:

DHS said the 10 airports where US-bound passengers are currently required to place large PEDs in checked baggage—the so-called laptop ban—can have those PED restrictions lifted if the airports comply with the enhanced security measures being required by the US.

Extension of that original ban was blocked by EU authorities on the basis, according to insider reporters, that it risked lithium-ion battery combustion events occurring in a hold where simple, direct intervention by cabin crew to prevent a catastrophic fire developing would be impossible.

The original selective ban also ignored the ease with which alternative routes could be followed by would be phone bomb carrying terrorists determined to attack US targets.

The original bans, enacted late in March, also claimed there was an imminent risk of micro amounts of explosive material being carried on board in the likes of iPhones and popular tablets and other small laptop computers.

No such threat has turned real in subsequent months, leading to widespread speculation that the Trump administration was making it up.

Opinion There are many legitimate concerns about the porosity of airport and public infrastructure security procedures. The invention of fake news crap by the White House and security sector ‘boosters’ was unhelpful.

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5 thoughts on “Trump dropping cabin computer ban, but media too deferential to say so

  1. ggm

    I dislike Trump, and the republicans, but I think this write up has a slightly over-the-top polemical feel to it. Have they reversed? Well.. the said they want intrusive bagchecks enforced by some airports. I’ve flown to the US via a range of places, and the quality of the carry on check and the level at which you pass through a clean-zone to get to it, vary. So I personally think where they have arrived is where they always should have been: a logical check close to the boarding gate, which is supervised by the US, because they want the outcome.

    I do suspect there was a bunch of ‘lets hit QATAR Edihad and Emirates’ about it too. But I see this as less of a retreat and more of a mid-course correction.

    We don’t have a time machine. Who knows if there was a credible threat or not. Its possible the ban had an impact, I doubt it, but I wouldn’t entirely discount it.

  2. comet

    Does this mean that the airport hubs of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have to enact intrusive luggage hand checks, while other airports that were never the subject of Trump’s laptop ban do not?

  3. Tricot

    Not much good having access to wi-fi on planes from satellites if you can’t use your iphone or ipad. The USA – President thereof – current laughing stock of the rest of the world. Amazing that a few million Americans influence the exercise of power in the rest of the world. No wonder the Chinese are smiling.

  4. comet

    Trump is the puppet master behind a spate of incidents involving the Middle East Three.

    There’s the laptop ban. There’s the blockade. Now there’s the demand that the Al Jazeera news network be shut down within 48 hours.

    Al Jazeera is a thorn in Trump’s side. The ME3 are thorns in Trump’s side.

    We put up with leftwing and rightwing news organisations. But they should be free to operate. Only dictators want to shut down news networks.

    1. Dan Dair

      “Only dictators want to shut down news networks”

      I recently was told that DJ Trump actually has a long-distant Irish heritage.
      Apparently his paternal ancestor was an Irishman called Richard Potato.?
      (Dick ‘Tater….!!!!)

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