New Security Restrictions for 10 Middle East and Africa Departure Airports with Commercial Flights to the United States

New Security Restrictions for 10 Middle East and Africa Departure Airports with Commercial Flights to the United States

The Homeland Security Department (DHS) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued new security restrictions today for flights directly from eight countries in the Middle East and Africa to the United States. Airlines departing from these countries are now required to prevent passengers from carrying all personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone or smartphone.

According to a March 21, 2017 DHS/TSA fact sheet, "We have reason to be concerned about attempts by terrorist groups to circumvent aviation security and terrorist groups continue to target aviation interests. Implementing additional security measures enhances our ability to mitigate further attempts against the overseas aviation industry."

Remain vigilant in your surroundings. We should continue to maintain situational awareness while on duty, layover, or personal time. If you see something out of the ordinary, say something. Any concerns report through your company procedures and to your union. 

There is no change in policy for domestic flights in the United States or flights departing the United States. Electronic devices will continue to be allowed on all flights originating in the United States.

Passengers will have to check any devices bigger than a smartphone — including iPads, Kindles and laptops — before clearing security or boarding flights at the ten airports with electronics ban listed above, according to TSA citing terrorism concerns.

Examples of large electronic devices that will not be allowed in the cabin on affected flights include, but are not limited to:

  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • E-Readers
  • Cameras
  • Portable DVD players
  • Electronic game units larger than a smartphone
  • Travel printers/scanners

Read more from TSA >

Read TSA Q&A on these restrictions >

Take note as to not confuse this electronics ban with the Executive Order entry bans which have included Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. 

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