The United States will no longer ban people flying in mostly from Saudi Arabia from using electronics larger than a smartphone while in an airline’s cabins. This large electronics ban was announced back in March 2017, and will now be officially lifted. The decision to impose this interdiction came on March 21, and to lift it, on July 20.
With enhanced security measures in place, all restrictions on large PEDs announced in March for 10 airports/9 airlines have been lifted.
— David Lapan (@SpoxDHS) July 19, 2017
The Large Electronics Ban, a Way of Fighting Terrorism
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a list, back after announcing the ban, of the airlines and airports which would be affected by the decision. This included nine airlines and ten airports, most of them being in the Middle East.
DHS’s prohibited the use of electronics larger than a smartphone during direct flights coming in from the respective locations. The targeted airports and airlines were in North Africa and the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates host eight of the affected airports.
DHS’s overview of the ban offered details on what exactly it considered ‘large electronics’ and the places in which they couldn’t be stored/used. According to this, anything larger than a cell phone or a smartphone could not be utilized or carried onboard the aircraft’s cabin. This meant that they also couldn’t be stored in carry-on luggage or other easily accessible property.
Large electronics included but were not restricted to tablets, e-readers, laptops, cameras, portable DVD players, bigger than a smartphone electronic games, and others. All such devices were prohibited because of their risk of being loaded with explosives by terrorists.
However, “With enhanced security measures in place, all restrictions on large PEDs announced in March for 10 airports/9 airlines have been lifted,” states David Lapan. He is the DHS’s spokesman.
The U.S also recently issued a new directive targeting airlines. This offered a list of additional security measures which they had to take. For example, this pointed out the need of increasing the screening and security protocols affecting all direct flights to the U.S. The new directive targets 280 airports from all over the world.
Further details on the new security methods have yet to be released. However, according to reports, these will not be visible to passengers. At the same time, this large electronics ban was seen as just a “pause”, not a solution.
Image Source: Wikimedia