US considering laptop ban on flights from Europe
Currently the US has a ‘laptop ban’ on several countries in the MENA region. This means that anyone travelling from one of the countries on the list (including the UAE) cannot take electronic equipment larger than a mobile phone onto the cabin. But it looks like the Trump administration could be rolling out the ban further afield.
According to recent reports, there is a proposed laptop ban on flights from Europe to the US. “UK and Europe are certainly under consideration but nothing is imminent,” a Trump administration official is quoted as saying in The Financial Times.
The initial ban on carrying electronics to the US affects 13 countries in the MENA (Middle East and Africa) region, including the UAE. Officials at the US department of homeland security (DHS) have claimed that the ban will help prevent terrorist attacks on commercial airlines and that the decision was based on “evaluated intelligence”, though they have not revealed the nature of the intelligence.
The UK followed suit, introducing a slightly different restriction on electronics, including six countries: Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Turkey.
Meanwhile, Australia has introduced random explosive detection tests for passengers flying out of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha. Australia’s Transport Minister, Darren Chester, released an official statement saying that the security measures were just a precautionary measure in response to the action taken by the British and American authorities.
“In response to national security advice the federal government has made precautionary changes and instructed airlines to implement new protocols,” he said.
And New Zealand is currently “assessing the evidence to determine what is appropriate,” according to a statement given to Reuters by the nation’s Transport Minister Simon Bridges. 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.