The US administration banned passengers on some international flights heading to the United States, from carrying medium and large electronic devices with them on the plane. This decision was not clear and many questions were raised about which devices are prohibited and what passengers have been affected by the ban.
The US Department of Homeland Security answered these questions in a statement entitled “Aviation Security Enhancements for Select Last Point of Departure Airports with Commercial Flights to the United States.”
The statement pointed out that “evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are seeking to find new methods to undertake their operations, including smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.” Based on the above-mentioned information, “homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and acting administrator Huban Gowadia, decided that it is prudent to enhance security, to include airport security procedures for passengers at certain last point of departure airports to the United States.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security, these reinforcements will be implemented in 10 airports and did not specify airlines as it was rumored yesterday.
The airports included in the decision are:
- Queen Alia International Airport, Jordan
- Cairo International Airport, Egypt
- Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
- King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia
- King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia
- Kuwait international airport
- Mohamed V Airport, Casablanca in Morocco
- Hamad International Airport, Qatar
- Dubai International Airport, UAE
- Abu Dhabi International Airport, UAE
According to the statement, “the enhancement in security will require that all personal electronic devices that are larger than a cell phone or smart phone be placed in checked baggage at these airports in flights heading to the United States.”
“This will only impact flights from 10 of the more than 250 airports that serve as last points of departure to the United States. This will only impact a small percentage of flights to the United States. The exact number of flights will vary on a day to day basis. Airlines companies will be advised in advance about the affected flights,” the statement explained.
It added that “electronic devices that are larger than mobile phones or smart phones will be banned in carry-on baggage or other accessible luggage inside the aircraft. All devices that are larger than a cell phone or smart phone should be placed in checked baggage. Approved medical devices may be brought into the cabin after additional screening. Smartphones are commonly available around the world and their size is well understood by most passengers who fly internationally.”
According to the ministry, the included devices include but are not limited to:
- Tablet PCs
- Electronic reader devices
- Portable DVD players
- Game consoles larger than the smartphone
- Portable printers or scanners
The statement concluded that “internal flights in the United States or flights departing from the United States will not be affected; electronic devices will continue to be allowed on all flights departing from the United States,” The statement advised the travellers to log into www.TSA.gov for further information about this decision.