DUBAI, -- The impact of the ban by the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) on electronics from Muslim-majority countries will be cross-examined at the World Aviation Safety Summit's fifth edition on 11th and 12th April in Dubai.
Industry leaders will debate how these bans will impact the industry and the best way to deal with such significant changes for both airlines and passengers.
The US and the UK have announced that laptops, e-readers and almost all other electronic devices larger than a standard smartphone will be banned from cabin luggage on some flights. The US rule applies to 10 airports and the UK to six including Turkey and middle-eastern countries starting from 25th March.
The ban will particularly cause issues for frequent flyers in the region, who will now have to check their bag if they are travelling with one of the banned devices. Additionally, they will have to endure long flights without access to laptops or tablets.
A statement issued by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, stressed the need for a balance between security risk and safety concerns, because incidents involving devices containing lithium batteries may be more easily mitigated in the cabin than in checked-in baggage.
In 2016, the ICAO announced a prohibition on shipments of lithium-ion batteries as cargo on passenger planes. Industry experts are working to develop new and improved packaging standards to safely transport these batteries on planes.
"Of course, the safety of passengers is paramount, but there must be concerns about exchanging one risk with another," said Conference Chairman and industry analyst Alan Peaford. "The Summit provides an ideal opportunity for the key industry stakeholders to discuss the challenge of finding the best solution to reduce overall risk."
The ban has been described as disruptive and operationally challenging, according to Emirates President Tim Clark. The state-owned carrier is planning to permit devices affected by the ban within the security perimeter to allow passengers, particularly those flying in premium seats, to use laptops and tablets until the last possible moment.
Nick Webb, Managing Partner at Streamline Marketing Group, commented, "The World Aviation Safety Summit will examine the impact of the electronics ban and how safety and security must always be made a priority. The rapidly changing nature of aviation creates fascinating debates and we are looking forward to welcoming the world's experts to discuss the best possible solutions for the future."
Source: Emirates News Agency