Travelers from all over the world who plan to fly into the US will be subjected to more rigorous security checks before being allowed to board the plane, the Department of Homeland Security has decided. Still, they will be allowed to take their laptops in the passenger cabin.
The introduction of the new security measures was preceded by a ban on all electronic devices (except phones and medical devices) in carry-ons for US-bound travelers from ten airports in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Qatar.
Enhanced USA air travel security measures
“The enhanced security measures include but are not limited to: enhancing overall passenger screening; conducting heightened screening of personal electronic devices; increasing security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas; and deploying advanced technology, expanding canine screening, and establishing additional preclearance locations,” the DHS explained.
These enhanced security measures will be imposed on travelers on all commercial flights departing from some 280 airports in 105 counties, and will affect 180 airlines and, on average, 325,000 passengers each day.
When will the changes be implemented?
Some of these enhancements will be implemented immediately, and others in the coming weeks and months, but the DHS is clear on the fact that it expects airlines adopt these requirements within certain timeframes, lest they be hit with additional security restrictions (e.g. a ban on large personal electronic devices on aircraft), or denied permission to land their planes on US airports.
The agency noted that these enhanced security measures are just the beginning, and will evolve as threats evolve.
“The enhanced security measures are both seen and unseen but all passengers flying to the United States may experience additional screening of their person and property. We recommend that passengers flying to the United States prepare for a more extensive screening process,” they concluded.
Airlines and fliers might not be content with these new rules, but for many of the latter – especially business travelers – this beats a carry-on laptop ban for sure.