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US and UK Ban Electronic Devices From International Flights and Airports



On Tuesday, March 21st, the United States and the United Kingdom banned people flying from international airports in the Middle East and North Africa from carrying electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and other large electronic devices in the aeroplane cabin because of concerns about terrorism.

It should be recalled that acts of terrorism have been a major concern in the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom. Over the years, there have been tragic incidents of bomb blasts on international airports like the case of Brussels International Airport which is one of the busiest and transit zones for many international flights to and from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the United States and Europe.

Also, the US under President Trump’s administration in the past months has expressed great concerns on issues of international security. As part of President Trump’s foreign policy, he had issued a 90 days travel ban to immigrants from eight Muslim countries from entering the US with or without travel documents. However, the ban was halted by US Judges based on the notion that it is discriminatory. President Trump, on the other hand, is bent to carrying the case at the US Supreme Court in a dire need to fulfil his foreign policy of “keeping America safe.”

The ban on electronic devices, therefore, is a strong security alert. Following reports from CNN and FOX News, the Trump administration issued new security restrictions in the device ban which require nine airlines based in the Middle East and some parts of Northern Africa to prevent people flying from eight countries from bringing any device bigger than a smartphone on board. Also, devices will have to be checked into the luggage hold by airport security agents.

Following the US ban, over fifty flights may be affected from ten international airports in predominantly Muslim countries in a day, with major hubs such as Dubai and Istanbul according to senior administration officials. The report further stated that the nine airlines affected were notified of the procedures by the US at 3 a.m. on Tuesday and must comply within 96 hours. The ten international airports covered by the US ban are in Cairo, Egypt; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.; Istanbul, Turkey; Doha, Qatar; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; and Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The nine airlines included in the US electronic device ban are Egyptair, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines. Also, the report stated that US aeroplanes are not affected because none of the carriers flies from the airports affected by the device ban.

The UK ban will affect six countries, including Tunisia and Lebanon not on the US list. Also, top international airlines such as Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways, British Airways and Turkish Airlines are among those that will have to implement new restrictions. The UK restrictions apply to flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia on 14 airlines, including some based in Britain as mentioned earlier.

As of the time of writing, the device ban is already in execution in the aforementioned international airports.

Stay tuned with BaretaNews.

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