Six of the ten airports that were under the electronics ban have been given the green signal in allowing electronics onboard their flights in the passenger cabin. The following carriers are off the laptop-banned list –
- Etihad Airways out of Abu Dhabi
- Qatar Airways from Doha
- Emirates Air from Dubai
- Turkish Airways out of Istanbul
- Kuwait Airways out of Kuwait City and
- Royal Jordanian out of Amman are
This means that passengers on incoming flights to the United States from these six airports can now bring laptops into the airplane cabin instead of checking it into their luggage.
These airports earned their way off the banned list by improving their screening process enough to pass the heightened benchmarks set by the US Department of Homeland Security. Now authorities at these airports will use CT scanners to take cross-section images of passengers’ electronics just before they board airplanes heading into the U.S.
In order to get off the banned list, the United States Department of Homeland Security outlined certain measures that airports around the world have to comply with. Although they did not make public all their requirements, the following is being implemented in most airports going forward –
- Enhanced screening of passengers;
- Increased explosive trace detection screening;
- Additional scrutiny of large electronics;
- Bomb-sniffing dogs around the perimeter;
- Enhanced screening procedures and potential interviews during security checks;
- Beefed up security for “pre-clearance” locations in airports.
- More swabbing and clothing checks
Airlines have 21 days to put in place increased explosive trace detection screening and have 120 days to comply with other security measures, including enhanced screening of airline passengers. These measures would affect 325,000 airline passengers on approximately 2,000 commercial in-bound flights to the United States, on 180 airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries.
The U.S. laptop ban is now applicable to nonstop U.S.- bound flights from seven international airports in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Cairo; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; and Doha, Qatar. Should they meet the screening requirements expected by US authorities, these airports too could be considered for removal from the list. These airlines have 21 days to put in place an increased explosive trace detection screening and have 120 days to comply with other security measures, including enhanced screening of airline passengers. Saudi Arabian airlines is aiming to comply with these enhanced security protocols and be off the list by July 19th, 2017.
This ban that prohibited passengers from bringing laptops and other personal electronic devices into the cabin with their carry-on baggage was originally implemented in March of this year as a precaution against the US government’s concerns about terrorists’ growing capabilities to target commercial aviation and leverage these devices to conceal explosives for an attack.