DHS to announce new aviation security measures

29 June, 2017, 02:13 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • US to announce new enhanced aviation security measures -- sources

The U.S. imposed restrictions on laptops in March on flights originating at 10 airports in eight countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Turkey.

US officials are requiring enhanced screening of personal electronic devices, passengers and explosive detection for the roughly 2,000 commercial flights arriving daily in the United States from 280 airports in 105 countries.

"We can not play global whack-a-mole", Kelly said Wednesday.

The administration's announcement comes after weeks of negotiations between the US and Europe over whether to restrict large electronics on all USA -bound flights - a policy that now only applies to 10 overseas airports.

If an airlines refuses the new measures, a complete ban of any electronics larger than cellphone on the aircraft may be enacted, a senior DHS official said.

The U.S. does not have jurisdiction over foreign airports, but has authority over airlines that have direct flights into the country.

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The new measures would include a range of actions such as swabbing more devices for traces of explosives, bomb-sniffing dogs and improved security screening for airport and airline employees, a person briefed on the plan said. Officials said the changes will be "seen and unseen" and will include increased explosive screening as well as a beefed-up security posture across the board.

The measures announced Wednesday by the Department of Homeland Security fall short of a threatened ban on large electronics, but still represent one of the most sweeping security upgrades in the past decade.

The DHS said they are "giving the airlines sufficient time to implement these measures in an orderly fashion...with minimal impact for passengers" and that they "will take place in the near future". They also urged passengers to consult with their airlines before flying.

DHS officials said that if the measures are not fully implemented, they could potentially pursue additional steps.

The administration imposed a laptop ban earlier this year on US -bound flights from 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa, which the DHS said was necessary because terrorists have been pursuing innovative methods to smuggle bombs into commercial flights.

The decision not to impose new restrictions on laptops is a boost to USA airlines, which have anxious that an expansion of the ban to Europe or other locations could cause significant logistical problems and deter some travel.

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