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Airline passengers association seeks hold on expanding electronics ban to Europe
MIAMI May 9, 2017 APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association), a four-decade-old international airline trade association, called for a hold on the electronics ban expansion to Europe amid a biometrics workshop with major airlines and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (U.S. DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Speaking at the Aviation Festival Americas with more than 60 airlines, APEX CEO Joe Leader suggested "green listing" passengers as cleared to carry electronics on restricted routes through the biometric facial recognition initiative being put forward by the U.S. DHS CBP in place of the electronics ban.
APEX CEO suggested "green listing" passengers as cleared to carry electronics on restricted routes through the biometric facial recognition initiative in place of the electronics ban, while speaking at Aviation Festival Americas alongside major airlines and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection.
"Having the electronics ban spread to the European Union for flights to the United States would damage the personal freedoms integral to international air travel. We must stand together with government solutions for personal electronics that enable both security and accessibility for our airline passengers worldwide," said Leader. "Biometric identification of passengers that are pre-cleared to travel with electronics would enable a viable potential solution with the U.S. DHS CBP ready to provide immediate technological facilitation."
APEX sounded the alarm in March when the airline electronics ban started, and warned that it could easily spread as reported today. In the United States alone, carriers in less than 30 days have removed more than one million annual passenger long-haul seats from the airports affected by the United States electronics ban alone.
"As the leading international airline association focused on passenger experience, APEX has actively and repeatedly expressed that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.K. Department of Transport should institute government-approved solutions for electronics rather than the existing airline electronics ban," Leader stated. "Fighting potential threats means finding government solutions that do not take the laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, and large phones out of the hands of the millions of law-abiding passengers that use them every day. We owe our air travelers worldwide the best options to make their flights enjoyable and productive."
Results from APEX's Global Passenger Survey, released last year, show airline passengers frequently bring their personal electronics devices on-board aircraft for use in-flight:
- 43% of worldwide airline passengers bring a tablet device on-board, with 70% of these passengers using their tablet device in-flight;
- 38% of worldwide airline passengers bring a laptop computer on-board, with 42% of these passengers using their laptop in-flight; and
- 22% of worldwide airline passengers bring e-Readers on-board, with 77% of these passengers using their e-Reader in-flight.
About the Airline Passenger Experience (APEX)
APEX encompasses a network of businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe. As a non-profit, APEX reinvests all of its resources to better serve its members. Every day, APEX members evaluate the passenger experience through an influential community and are improving every aspect of the airline experience: from designing, building and installing seating, entertainment and communications systems on commercial aircraft, to airport lounges and in-flight dining. APEX works to strengthen the industry and enable business opportunities through education, innovation, networking and recognition. For more information, please visit APEX.aero.