March 23, 2017

US Limits Electronic Devices On Flights From 8 Muslim Countries

21 March 2017, 02:52 | Austin Hogan

Device cabin ban on some US flights from Mideast

Royal Jordanian Bans Devices

A separate government official confirmed an Associated Press report that the ban will affect 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Airlines from certain countries in the Middle East and Africa will require passengers heading to the U.S. to check laptops and tablets in the hold.

Dubai-based Emirates said on Tuesday that the ban is based on a security directive from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration and that it will take effect on Saturday.

Royal Jordanian Airlines pointed out in a tweet that medical devices were excluded from the ban but said everything else would need to be packed into checked luggage. The restrictions will start being enforced later this week, the agency said, adding that there will be no exceptions to the rule and passengers from affected countries won't be able to bring any device larger than a handset on flights.

The Department of Homeland Security is expected to announce on Tuesday passengers travelling on certain USA bound flights will have to check electronic devices larger than a new cell phone, US officials told Reuters on Monday. Passengers would be allowed to carry larger devices in their checked luggage. Basel Kilani has told The Associated Press that the airline was still awaiting formal instructions from the relevant US departments, which could possibly come later on Tuesday.

The ban, which is following to an unspecified terrorist threat, is expected to be officially announced tomorrow and has been under consideration for several weeks, the source told news agency Reuters.

Royal Jordanian Flight 263 landed a little while ago at O'Hare International Airport and is likely to be the last nonstop from Amman, the capital of Jordan, to Chicago in which passengers will be allowed to carry on a full array of personal electronics.

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When asked whether the ban is intended as a salvo in the battle between US and Gulf carriers, the officials demurred.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told congressional lawmakers about the plan during the weekend, according to aides.

Officials would not discuss the "security implications" of storing consumer electronics in the airplane's cargo rather than the cabin.

Brian Jenkins, an aviation-security expert at the Rand Corp., said earlier that the nature of the security measure suggested that it was driven by intelligence of a possible attack. That ban has since been challenged by United States courts.

"There would be a huge disadvantage to having everyone put their electronics in checked baggage, " said Price, a professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Most major airports in the United States have a computer tomography or CT scanner for checked baggage, which creates a detailed picture of a bag's contents.

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