US Laptop Ban: Increased Security Measures Announced for America-bound Flights From 105 Countries

Tom Batchelor, Independent, June 29, 2017

Tough new security rules will be imposed on all international flights bound for the United States under measures rolled out by the Trump administration.

Officials at the Homeland Security Department said 280 airports in 105 countries would be affected by the tightened security – impacting around 2,000 flights a day.

Among the measures announced on Wednesday evening were enhanced screening of personal electronic devices, passengers and explosive detection.

Airlines that do not comply with the increased checks have been warned there would be consequences including laptop bans.

The new security measures, which European and US officials said would begin taking effect within three weeks, could add to screening time for the 325,000 airline passengers arriving in the US each day.

Officials said the move was aimed at preventing an expansion of an in-cabin ban on large electronic devices that is already in force for some flights heading to the US.

Airlines had worried that an expansion of the ban to Europe or other locations would deter some from travelling.

The US imposed restrictions on laptops in March on flights originating at 10 airports in eight countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey.

They came amid fears that a concealed bomb could be installed in electronic devices taken aboard aircraft.

Britain quickly followed suit with a similar set of restrictions.

Homeland security officials said those 10 airports can get off the list if they meet the new security requirements.

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