On Tuesday, Britain joined the United States in barring passengers on flights originating in several Muslim-majority countries from bringing electronic devices, including laptops and tablets on board airplanes.
The Washington Post reports that the United Kingdom ban applies to six countries, and the U.S. ban applies to 10 different airports in eight Muslim-majority countries.
Although passengers can still travel with these items, they will have to put them in their checked baggage on U.S.- or U.K.-bound flights that originate from places including Istanbul; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Doha, Qatar.
From the Washington Post:
The British ban also includes some cellphones and is expected to apply to all airports in the six nations. The countries included in the British ban are Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. restrictions were prompted by a growing concern within the government that terrorists who have long sought to develop hard-to-detect bombs hidden inside electronic devices may have put renewed effort into that work, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about it. U.S. officials have been discussing whether to issue new security restrictions for some flights for the past two weeks, they said.
John Pistole, a former senior FBI official and Transportation Security Administration leader during the Obama administration, told the Post that new limitations on carry-on items “are both an actual physical deterrent and an overall deterrent so the bad guys see this and say, ‘They’re onto us.’ That’s a win for the good guys, because then you have time to push the terrorists off to another location, another time, another type of attack. It gives law enforcement and security services more opportunity to identify and disrupt plots.”
David Lapan, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, said the ban will run until Oct. 14 and could be extended for another year “should the evaluation of the threat remain the same.”
The U.S. ban covers 10 airports in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and officials say the airports were selected based on the “current threat picture.”
More from the Washington Post:
Officials said airlines will have 96 hours to comply with the restrictions. Carriers that fail to do so risk losing their authorization to operate in the United States.
The airports are: Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) in Jordan, Cairo International Airport (CAI) in Egypt, Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) in Turkey, King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) and King Khalid International Airport (RUH) in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait International Airport (KWI) in Kuwait, Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) in Morocco, Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Qatar, and Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) in the United Arab Emirates.
Officials said the change will affect passengers who travel on about 50 daily flights. Neither the U.S. nor British ban includes crew members.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the International Air Transport Association said, “IATA is working with its members and the TSA to achieve greater clarity on required actions.” The group asked travelers going through the affected airports to add extra time to their travels.
“Safety and security is the top priority of everyone involved in aviation,” the statement said. “Airlines comply with government requirements and they can do this most effectively when measures are well coordinated.”
Read more at the Washington Post.