Kate-Lynne Wolmarans24 Apr 2017 AT 12:22 PM

New Zealand looks to follow the US in electronic travel ban

They are currently “assessing the evidence to determine what is appropriate”
Kate-Lynne Wolmarans24 Apr 2017 AT 12:22 PM
Travel, Dubai, Emirates, Electronics, Flight ban
© Shutterstock
Travel, Dubai, Emirates, Electronics, Flight ban
© Shutterstock

It looks like we could be adding New Zealand to the list of countries that have banned laptops and other large electronic devices on flights from certain countries in the Middle East.

According to statement given to Reuters by the nation’s Transport Minister Simon Bridges New Zealand’s civil aviation is “assessing the evidence to determine what is appropriate”.

Should new measures be introduced it would affect passengers flying out of Dubai and Doha as Emirates and Qatar Airways are the only two Middle Eastern airlines that fly directly to New Zealand.

While the exact date and measures have yet to be announced, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Bill English told reporters in Wellington that the aviation agency was considering the issue and would make a decision on whether to restrict large electronic items on flights from the Middle East independently of the government.

“A number of our security partners put those arrangements in place. With this particular proposition there's a balance between inconvenience for passengers, many of whom live off their laptop on the one hand, but on the other hand it’s making sure that the flying is safe,” English said.

Should New Zealand enforce stricter security measures it will join a number of countries the US who banned electronic devices larger than a mobile phone from passenger cabins of direct flights from eight countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, including Qatar and the UAE.

Less than a month ago neighbouring nation Australia announced that they would be conducting random explosive detection tests on devices at boarding gates.

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While New Zealand is said to be considering banning the use of all laptops and larger electronic devices on flights out of the Middle East, Bridges reveals that the nation does not agree with the way in which the US, Australia and the UK have dealt with the heightened security.

“What we have seen from them is a less than uniform way of doing things," Bridges said.  

The news of New Zealand’s proposed electronic travel ban took many by surprise as the Civil Aviation Authority initially announced during a radio interview that it would not be following in Australia’s footsteps.

And, with Auckland being Emirates’ longest international flight, we can only imagine the dread that passengers would have when they’re told that they would have to go the entire 15 hour and 45 minute flight without a laptop…

That said, we're sure that Emirates will come up with a way to combat the effects, should the new law be passed. 

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