AFTER US, UK, TOO, BANS LARGE ELECTRONIC DEVICES IN FLIGHTS

After the US, the UK, too, has announced a ban on large electronic devises in cabin baggage on some flights. A BBC report said that the UK action was in coordination with the measures taken by the US. As per the BBC report, the ban is for commercial flights originating from Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and will affect six UK and eight foreign carriers including British Airways, Thomas Cook, Turkish Airlines, Saudia and Egyptair. Like the US ban, the UK, too, has banned electronic devices larger than a smartphone, like laptops, tablets, DVD players and even phone larger than a specified size from cabin baggage.

Earlier, a report in the The Telegraph said that the UK, too, had come across same intelligence inputs as the US that terrorists could use electronic devices like laptops to conceal explosives. The intelligence inputs say terrorists are planning ‘innovative methods to bring down planes’ as the report in The Telegraph says.

Earlier in the day, the US ban came into force, putting stiff conditions on foreign airlines from the eight Middle-East and African countries. The US ban will affect 10 airports that serve as last point of departure to the US.

According to the US Department of Homeland Security, the 10 airports affected are Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, Cairo International Airport, Ataturk International Airport in Turkey, King Abdul-Aziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia, King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait International Airport, Mohammed V Airport in Morocco, Hamad International Airport in Qatar, Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The Department of Homeland Security says that these airports were selected on current threat inputs and their analysis and more airports can be added in future if security assessment demands so. These new measures will remain in place as long as the threat persists.

As per the US ban, electronic devices other than mobile phones will not be allowed in cabin baggage on flights originating from these 10 airports. Devices larger than a mobile phone or a smartphone, like laptops, tablets, cameras, e-readers, travel printers and scanners, portable DVD players and even electronic games which are larger than a smartphone must be put in the checked-in luggage. And this list is not exhaustive. The US ban is not limited to just these electronic devices but applies to any electronic device larger than a smartphone.

In support of its ban, the Department of Homeland Security cites terrorist propaganda on how an Egyptian plane was brought down by a soda can stuffed with explosives killing 224 onboard in 2015 or how a laptop bomb was used to carry out explosion in an aircraft at a Somali airport in February 2016. According to the Department of Homeland Security, terrorists have used in past methods like concealing explosives in shoes and printers, suicide devices in underwear and using liquid explosives.

©SantoshChaubey

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