16 October 2018
The new civil aviation rule was in response to an unspecified terrorism threat, officials said. Photo: Reuters
The new civil aviation rule was in response to an unspecified terrorism threat, officials said. Photo: Reuters

US plans to ban electronic devices from some flights

US authorities are planning to ban passengers traveling on certain US-bound foreign airline flights from carrying into the cabin larger electronic devices in response to an unspecified terrorism threat, US officials told Reuters.

The new rule had been under consideration since the US government learned of a threat several weeks ago, the officials said. 

The rule would cover a dozen foreign airlines flying from about a dozen countries, including some from the Middle East, and would include airlines based in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the news agency quoted the officials as saying.

The officials said no American carriers were affected by the ban, which would apply to devices larger than a cellphone, but did not say why.

Passengers would be allowed to carry larger devices in their checked luggage like tablets, laptops and cameras.

Royal Jordanian Airlines said in a tweet on Monday that United States-bound passengers would be barred from carrying most electronic devices aboard aircraft starting Tuesday at the request of US officials, including those that transit through Canada.

Passengers can still carry cellphones and approved medical devices.

Al Riyadh newspaper, which is close to the Saudi government, reported that the civil aviation authority had informed “airlines flying from the kingdom’s airports to US airports of the latest measures from US security agencies in which passengers must store laptops and tablets” in checked-in baggage.

Al Riyadh quoted a civil aviation authority source as saying that these measures from senior US authorities were relayed to the Saudi interior ministry.

Saudia Airlines confirmed in a tweet that US transportation authorities had barred carrying larger electronic devices in cabin luggage.

In July 2014, the Homeland Security Department stepped up security of US-bound flights, requiring tougher screening of mobile phones and other electronic devices and requiring them to be powered up before passengers could board flights to the US.

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