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The Department of Homeland Security has implemented enhanced security requirements for passengers traveling from 10 airports that require passengers to place larger electronic devices in checked baggage; no longer allowing them in passengers’ carry-on bags.
The rationale for the ban per the Department of Homeland Security is, “Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items.”
The ban impacts travelers from 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa:
- Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) – Jordan
- Cairo International Airport (CAI) – Egypt
- Ataturk International Airport (IST) – Turkey
- King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED) – Saudi Arabia
- King Khalid International Airport (RUH) – Saudi Arabia
- Kuwait International Airport (KWI) – Kuwait
- Mohammed V Airport (CMN) – Morocco
- Hamad International Airport (DOH) – Qatar
- Dubai International Airport (DXB) – UAE
- Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) – UAE
According to the Department of Homeland Security, passengers are able to take a smartphone with them in the cabin, although it does not specify which models or makes meet the definition of “Commonly available Smartphone”. Other larger items will have to be checked, and include but are not limited to:
- Electronic game units larger than a smartphone
- Portable DVD players
- Travel printers/scanners
The DHS confirmed in its statement that passengers carrying larger medical devices will be allowed to keep them on their person after they have undergone a screening process. Although the department did not clarify what this process will be.
The impact will be most significant for passengers traveling on Turkish Airlines, Etihad, Emirates and Qatar which have significant regular scheduled service to the US. As of now, the ban is indefinite to be reviewed in the future.
Additionally, it appears as though the UK has just announced a similar ban on flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
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