Monday, March 20, 2017

Government to Implement Electronics Ban on Some U.S. Bound Flights

The U.S. Government is barring passengers on all flights from eight Middle East and North African Countries from bringing Laptops, iPads, Cameras, and other Electronics in Carry-On Luggage on U.S. Bound Flights starting Tuesday.

The Prohibitions on Electronics from select Countries on Flights to the U.S. is based on information developed overseas about a threat. The Official said the Electronics Ban is not related to a specific threat but is in response to Intelligence gathered Overseas.

The Officials said the Department of Homeland Security is in the process of notifying the Countries and Airlines affected by the Ban on large Electronics. They will have 96 hours to implement the Ban.

Royal Jordanian Airlines posted a tweet earlier Monday advising Passengers of the impending Ban, which excludes Cellphones and Medical Devices. Everything else, the airline said, would need to be packed in Checked Luggage.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly phoned Lawmakers over the weekend to brief them on Aviation Security issues that have prompted the impending Electronics Ban, according a Congressional Aide briefed on the discussion.

A U.S. Government Official said such a Ban has been considered for several weeks. The Official spoke on the Condition of Anonymity to disclose the internal Security discussions by the Federal Government.

Royal Jordanian said the Electronics Ban affects its flights to New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Montreal.

An Aviation Security expert said the Policy would raise other Safety issues. “There would be a huge disadvantage to having everyone put their electronics in checked baggage,” said Jeffrey Price, a Professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He said thefts from baggage would skyrocket, as when England tried a similar ban in 2006, and “some laptops have batteries that can catch fire and it’s easier to detect it when it’s in the cabin rather than burning in the hold.” However, there are also advantages to Screening items in Checked Baggage instead of as Carry-On Luggage.

Most Major Airports in the United States have a Computer Tomography or CT Scanner for Checked Baggage, which creates a detailed picture of a Bag’s contents. They can warn an Operator of potentially Dangerous Material, and may provide better Security than the X-ray machines used to screen Passengers and their Carry-On Bags.

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