Enhanced Screening to Replace Laptop Ban

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The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Wednesday announced plans to require airlines and foreign airports to bolster their screening of passengers' laptops and other large electronics.

The move could result in additional screening time for hundreds of thousands of passengers who arrive in the US from foreign countries every day, Reuters reported. If airports and airlines adopt the new screening procedures, however, their passengers will not be subject to the ban on electronic devices that currently exists for flights from 10 Middle Eastern and African airports, according to Reuters.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a press briefing on Wednesday that the new security procedures "will include enhanced screening of electronic devices, more thorough passenger vetting, and new measures designed to mitigate the potential threat of insider attacks."

DHS "will also lay out a clear path to encourage airlines and airports to adopt more sophisticated screening approaches, including better use of explosive detection canines and advanced checkpoint screening technology," Kelly said.


  • Electronics Banned From Some US-Bound FlightsElectronics Banned From Some US-Bound Flights

The electronics ban that currently applies to the 10 airports will be lifted if they comply with the new rules, Reuters reported, although DHS officials did not indicate how long that process would take. If other airports do not comply with the new rules fast enough, they could see electronics bans as well, Kelly said.

Kelly did not elaborate on what the additional screening measures for electronic devices would entail, although he said they could be "dialed up or down in a risk-based, intelligence-driven manner."

The current electronics ban, enacted in March, applies to any devices larger than a cell phone on flights from affected airports, which include: Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan; Cairo International Airport; Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul; King Abdul-Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Kuwait International Airport; Mohammed V Airport in Casablanca, Morocco; Hamad International Airport in Qatar; Dubai International Airport; and Abu Dhabi International Airport.

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