United Kingdom reveals aircraft cabin ban on electronics larger than phones

United Kingdom has announced a ban on certain electronic devices being allowed in the cabin on Britain-bound flights from six Middle East countries.

The attempted downing of an airliner in Somalia previous year was linked to a laptop device, and some media reports have claimed that the new security precautions are an attempt to stop similar incidents.

A spokeswoman said: ‘Passengers travelling to the countries affected may wish to consider leaving their electronic devices at home, although this may be hard for many, especially business travellers and families travelling with children’.

The Trump administration excluded national carriers from the restriction, signaling out nine foreign Airlines flying from ten airports: Cairo, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Istanbul, Doha, Amman, Kuwait City, Casablanca, Jeddah, and Riyadh.

The new rules mean that any phones, laptops or tablets larger than a normal sized mobile or smart phone (length 16cm, width 9.3cm, depth 1.5cm) will not be allowed into plane cabins. “Any such devices will need to be placed into hold luggage and checked-in before going through central security”. Medical devices are exempted from the rule.

Most smartphones, including the iPhone 7 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S7, will not be affected.

Separately, the UK Government has announced a ban on carrying large phones, laptops and tablets in the cabin on flights travelling to the UK from Lebanon, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia. “We relied upon evaluated intelligence to determine which airports were affected”, a Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman told Reuters.

Hyde says Canada receives the same intelligence information as 4 other nations, the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand. She has discussed security several times with USA officials over the past few weeks, the source said.

An Emirates spokeswoman confirmed the airline was subject to the “new security directive issued by the Transportation Security Administration”.

If there is a direct flight from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Tunisia bound for the USA, fliers will have to check their devices, CNN reported.

But electronics spread out across a person’s luggage pose far less of a threat than palettes of lithium batteries, according to a USA aviation official. Officials were not able to say when the order would end.

The ban would stop passengers bringing laptops, iPads and cameras in carry-on luggage and is thought to affect at least 12 airlines.


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