US Bans Electronic Devices on Flights For These 8 Countries
The US bans electronic devices from 8 mainly Muslim nations. The Trump administration has sanctioned a temporary ban on electronic devices carried by the passengers from 8 Muslim-Majority countries. According to the US officials, the ban applies to direct flights from 10 international airports in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. The passengers traveling from these middle-eastern nations will not be allowed to carry any electronic device in the cabins. The order, which does not have any stated end date, covers laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, and handheld gaming devices larger than a smartphone.
Basically, any device apart from a smartphone is banned to be carried in the cabin. However, these electronic devices are permitted to be packed in carry-on luggage. Starting today, this infinite will affect 50 flights from 10 airports from the 8 Muslim-Majority nations. The 10 airports were notified of the ban at 3 A.M. ET Tuesday by the US officials. They have 96 hours of time to implement these modifications i.e. till 3 A.M. ET Saturday failing which the Federal Aviation Authority could revoke their clearance certificates, which would ban them from flying into U.S. airspace. None of the US flights will be affected by this ban since there are no flights that operate directly to any of these 8 nations.
The major international flights affected by this ban are Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines. According to the Royal Jordanian, the electronics ban affects its flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit and Montreal. Only smartphones and medical devices are excluded from the list of banned devices. The U.K. is also placing similar bans on certain electronic devices some flights which suggest that the action of both the governments may be in response to specific intelligence. Although it is not yet clear if or how this ruling relates to the Trump administration’s revised travel ban, which already bans citizens from 7 nations from entering the US.
The official said the move is partly based on intelligence which indicates Al Qaeda is close to being able to hide explosives with little or no metal content in electronic devices in order to target commercial aircraft. Under the new restrictions, the electronic devices many of which have lithium ion batteries will now be carried in the cargo deck of the airplane, underneath the passenger cabin.
Loopholes of this ban have already surfaced as the aviation security experts have pointed out that the number of thefts from baggage will skyrocket. Also, some laptops have batteries that can catch fire which is easier to detect in the cabin as compared to the cargo deck. Two weeks ago, the T.S.A. adopted enhanced pat-down searches for passengers at US airports, a response to what the agency said were weaknesses in airport screening measures. Under the new rules, passengers are no longer allowed to choose what type of searches they undergo in security lines. According to the T.S.A., the enhanced pat-down searches will be used on passengers who refuse to go through the full-body screening machine. Passengers who trigger alarms while going through screening will also undergo the enhanced searches.
The full airport ban list includes: Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), Ataturk International Airport (IST), Cairo International Airport (CAI), King Khalid International Airport (RUH), King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED), Kuwait International Airport (KWI), Hamad International Airport (DOH), Dubai International Airport (DXB), Mohammed V Airport (CMN) and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).