POLITICS

Turnbull Government Considering Banning Laptops On Flights

The Prime Minister is looking at the Trump Administration ban 'very closely'.

16/05/2017 1:05 PM AEST | Updated 16/05/2017 1:23 PM AEST
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Watching a movie on a laptop in the cabin may be about to become a big no-no.

CANBERRA -- The Turnbull Government is considering jumping on board a partial, but growing, Trump Administration ban based on terrorism fears of passengers carrying laptops on flights from certain countries.

The move towards the security ban comes amid concerns that the devices could actually be a danger sitting in the cargo hold in a bundle.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Adelaide that Australia was looking at the U.S. ban, which was announced in March, "very closely".

The new-ish rules originally targeted any device larger than a mobile phone being carried from 10 airports including in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey because of fears that a concealed bomb could be installed in electronic devices.

The ban, imposed by the Department of Homeland Security, is already expected to be expanded to flights from Europe to the U.S. but now flights from Australia to the U.S. are being considered.

"The Government is aware of the changes that have been made," Turnbull said. "And you know that we are looking at it very closely, taking into account all the information and advice we are receiving internationally and working very closely with our partners."

"In due course, any announcements will be made formally through the Transport Minister."

But the security and safety issues of bundling the devices in the cargo hold of aircraft is also being weighed up.

There's concern from safety experts that the piling of gadgets with lithium batteries could lead to deadly fires and explosions.

And expect the new security protocol to cause extra delays to travel time. Travel experts are expecting longer security lines, heightened delays, boarding gate confusion and just general travel chaos.

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