Air Flight Laptop Ban In Muslim-Majority Nations Begins

Andrew Cummings
April 2, 2017

Earlier this week, the USA administration also banned airline passengers from eight Middle Eastern and North African, including Egypt, from carrying on large electronic devices. Reports state that the ban has been imposed because of terrorism fears, as the electronic devices are prone to being used to smuggle explosives.

DHS Secretary John Kelly and Transportation Security Administrator Acting Administrator Huban Gowadia aim to enhance passenger security at ten of more than 250 airports that serve as last points of departure to the US.

The ban on any electronic item larger than a normal smartphone will affect thousands of passengers from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

The move comes rapidly on the heels of the US Department of Homeland Security establishing rules that will see passengers travelling on airlines from eight nations banned from bringing laptops, iPads, Kindles and cameras aboard flights.

USA airlines would remain unaffected as none of the carriers fly directly from the targeted countries. It's not known why there is a discrepancy between the two lists, but transport secretary Chris Grayling, answering an urgent question on the issue in the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon, said United States security measures were "very much a matter for them". Officials were not able to say when the order would end.

The US department of homeland security has not ruled out expanding the restrictions to other airports.

"The Middle Eastern and North African airports affected are almost all ones with close, friendly relations with Washington, so this will be seen by some as a drastic and unpopular measure", wrote Frank Gardner, the BBC's security correspondent.

While the USA ban will not affect the country's carriers, the restriction by the United Kingdom government will affect domestic operators like British Airways.

The British airlines affected include British Airways, EasyJet,, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson.

Britain's ban on laptops and tablet computers in the cabin on flights from several Middle Eastern and North African countries will be introduced "in the coming days", a Downing Street spokesman said on Wednesday (March 22).

Etihad and Turkish Airlines said they had received the notification from the US government and were reviewing it.

Arslan said Turkish officials were speaking to their relevant American counterparts regarding the ban, which applies to direct flights to the U.S. The minister said he hoped there would be a "positive" outcome from the talks, which began on Monday.

Other reports by iNewsToday