An expanded US ban on laptops in plane cabins could cost airlines and passengers US$3.3 billion a year, industry veterans have estimated, and they are fighting back with bomb-detection technology, anti-tampering detection for devices, sniffer dogs and an array of other security screening options.
These countermeasures were proposed at the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) annual gathering at the Mexican coastal resort of Cancun on Monday. At the meeting, airline executives discussed how to deal with the ban on electronic devices larger than a smartphone in the cabin on certain flights to the United States.
“We believe there are alternative ways to address the situation,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice-president for airport, passenger, cargo and security.
Newly released official industry figures show that a worldwide ban on electronic devices would set the industry back an estimated US$3.3 billion annually in lost productivity, longer travel times, flight delays and laptop rental costs. The …