Homeland Security (DHS) officials held a staff-level "technical meeting" Tuesday with European officials over the so-called "laptop ban" the U.S. is likely to institute soon, CBS News' Andres Triay reports.
According to DHS spokesman Dave Lapan, the meeting dealt with "information sharing" and "alignment of technical standards."
A final decision has not been made, but what's taking shape isthat is "likely" to contain a "substantial increase in the number of airports to include major airports in Europe" with service to the U.S., CBS News' Kris Van Kleave reports, according to officials familiar with the ongoing discussions. In fact, the ban could involve some or all airports in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
If a ban is enacted, it will not apply to TSA PreCheck flyers, CBS News' Fernando Suarez reports. It's likely the rules will be presented as a request or recommendation to travelers to remove food and larger electronics. So travelers may not be required to remove larger electronic devices, but if they don't, they may be more likely to see their bags pulled aside for hand searches.
DHS believes this won't increase the time people spend in checkpoint lines because the time spent unpacking and repacking bags will be made up by faster screening of carry-ons which have become more densely packed as airlines began charging for checked bags.
Currently, the electronics ban applies to 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa. U.S. and European airlines, as well as major airports in Europe, are already planning for an expansion of the laptop ban.
Van Kleave also reports that privately, several airlines have complained about what they feel has been a lack of communication from DHS and privately bristle about the Department's suggestion that the meetings to date are conversations, since the airlines do not feel they're being given much of a role in the decision.
Former transportation security officials say the Obama Administration discussed an ban on large electronics following the 2016 laptop bombing of a Somali airliner.
The final decision will be made by DHS Secretary John Kelly. DHS has not provided a timetable for implementation of such a ban, but says no additional meetings are scheduled, and it appears a decision will be made in the near future.
Some European press reports suggested DHS would issue a three-week warning, but DHS said those reports are incorrect.