Road Warrior: Laptop ban would disrupt 53 European airports

Fierce competition over routes ahead of Brexit and the robot suitcase that follows you

Laptop X-ray:  It is estimated that 60-90 per cent of passengers carry  large portable electronic devices and a ban would require additional security staff at airports.  Illustration: Srdjan Zivulovic/Reuters

Laptop X-ray: It is estimated that 60-90 per cent of passengers carry large portable electronic devices and a ban would require additional security staff at airports. Illustration: Srdjan Zivulovic/Reuters

 

A proposed ban by the US of laptops and other large portable electronic devices (PEDs) on flights coming out of Europe would disrupt operations at 53 airports in the European Common Aviation Area, an industry trade association has said. According to the ACI Europe Regional Airports there are more than 3,600 weekly flights to the US and the laptop ban would mean additional security staffing to handle loading and carriage. The ban would also cover Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo. It is estimated that 60-90 per cent of passengers carry a PED. The top five airports for US travel from Europe are Heathrow, Paris CDG, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Dublin. Already the ban on PEDs from Middle East airports has caused Emirates to reduce the number of US flights they schedule.

Travel advice from MI6

The former MI6 boss Sir John Sawers spoke at the annual Institute of Travel Management conference in Birmingham last week about the UK foreign office and cybercrime. “The foreign office travel advice does not always reflect the situation on the ground, and unnecessary blanket travel bans can harm local economies and fuel extremism. Companies can appeal blanket bans and if they feel it is unnecessary they can talk to the British embassy in that country”. He also warned companies of the rise of cybercrime and to be vigilant of their data. More criminals are moving online and looking for soft targets.

Pre-Brexit concern and competition at airports

The ACI Europe Regional Airports conference took place in Cork this week. 170 delegates from airports, airlines, suppliers and stakeholders took part. Growth in 2016 was a healthy 4.3 per cent and 2017 is off to a good start. Airport competition for new routes is fiercer than ever. With the British exit from the EU approaching in two years’ time, airports across Europe are deeply concerned. A single European aviation market is yet to be devised and planning for 2019 routes and slots will need to begin soon.

Dawn of the robot suitcase

Imagine your suitcase following you like a pet dog as you move around the airport or other places. No matter how fast or slow you go Travelmate is at your heel at up to 6.75mph. The first robot suitcase will be available in the summer from start-up Travelmate Robotics through Indiegogo. Initial investors will receive their suitcases at a discount with prices starting at $399. You can see a video of Travelmate at work on travelmaterobotics.com.