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This year aviation security has been dominated by the US Electronics Travel Ban, which came to an end last July. As of Thursday, October 25, 2017, new security procedures have been implemented globally on all flights heading to the US. Airlines that fail to comply with the new security screening procedures fully will face a return of the electronics ban.
The measures coming into force were announced last June, and airlines were given 120 days to implement them fully. The procedures are expected to impact more than 325,000 passengers arriving from 105 countries around the world. The new measures include:
- Expanded explosive trace detection procedures
- Possible short interviews with each passenger at check-in and before boarding
It is expected that the new standards will cause delays. Airlines across the globe, from Lufthansa to Cathay Pacific and Singapore, are all asking their passengers to arrive earlier at the airport to accommodate the new changes. Cathay Pacific has even had to cancel its downtown check-in service for passengers heading to the US. One of the hardest hit airports will be London Heathrow which has over 145 flights per week to the US.
Improved security measures are something to be welcomed. However, most airlines are chaffing against the new rules, and are not particularly pleased with their unilateral nature and the fact that they have been kept relatively in the dark about specific threats. Unfortunately, while travelers to the US have several options to expedite security and screening upon arrival or when leaving the US, almost everyone will have to put up with delays caused by these new measures.
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