Australia considers banning laptops from airliner cabins

Australia considers banning laptops from airliner cabins

In March, the USA and United Kingdom banned laptops and other electronic devices in carry-on luggage on flight routes from several Muslim-majority countries.

While the Australian government ruled out the idea at the time, today the prime minister said the government was reviewing the situation based on the latest intelligence.

On Wednesday Turnbull said he would not comment on intelligence sharing "other than to say we have a very close intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States and our other Five Eyes partners".

"We are looking at it very closely".

Transport Minister Darren Chester said Australia had a comprehensive and strong security system in place, with the safety of the travelling public a priority.

John Kelly, the U.S. homeland security secretary, has hinted that Washington may extend the ban to cover flights destined for the United States from a number of European countries, including Britain.

"If there's no specific threat or risk, then they've got to carefully examine it - is the measure just going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars and not have any fundamental additional impact on security?"

"You would have to introduce some measure at screening points where laptops could be taken from passengers and taken to the hold", he added. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Qantas, Australia's largest airline, assures the company is also closely monitoring the issue and has regular communications with the government as well as regulators.

The affected airports include Cairo; Istanbul; Kuwait City; Doha, Qatar; Casablanca, Morocco; Amman, Jordan; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates.

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