Are you scheduled to fly to the United States or the United Kingdom anytime soon? Take note that in accordance with the new directive issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), people coming from the UAE and other Muslim-majority countries can no longer bring devices larger than a mobile phone such as tablets, portable DVD players, laptops and cameras in the main plane cabin. Instead, these items shall be put in the checked-in bag of passengers.
The ban which is expected to be enacted in the foreseeable future, as per a U.S. government official in a report by the Associated Press, is a direct response to unspecified terrorist threats against the two powerhouse nation. Intel from concerned agencies revealed that commercial flights continue to be a high target for terrorists. However, involved parties refuse to go into the specifics of the looming threat.
Other sources, meanwhile, cited the occurrence last year in Somalia, where a bomb which was hidden in a laptop attempted and fortunately failed to crash a plane as an inciting incident. This particular example is an indication that groups planning to create chaos is getting more innovative with their schemes and it is better to employ precautionary measures to prevent similar or even worse incidents.
Dubai-based carrier, Emirates, have already announced that they will be implementing the rule on their flights to the US and UK. “Emirates can confirm that as per the new security directive issued by, electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smartphone, excluding medical devices, cannot be carried in the cabin of the aircraft,” the airline said in a statement sent to the Khaleej Times.
On top of Emirates, Etihad Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc as well as Qatar Airways, all have until Friday to fully roll out the ban in their aircraft cabins. The ban will cover all direct flights departing from Cairo, Amman, Kuwait City, Casablanca, Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports.
Canada and France to soon follow
Following the announcement, officials from Canada and France are said to also be toying with the idea of following suit. Although, both of the countries have yet to take any measures that are geared up towards the implementation of the same rules on their respective countries.