UPDATE: US names ME airports, airlines to restrict onboard electronics, Emirates confirms

By Shayan Shakeel 21 March 2017
UPDATE: US names ME airports, airlines to restrict onboard electronics, Emirates confirms

In a detailed statement to Aviation Business, confirmed by Emirates Airlines, the US Department of Homeland security has confirmed the names of 10 airports to be affected by a new ban on "Electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smart phone" from being brought onboard in carry-on luggage.

The airports named by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are:

  • Dubai International Airport (DXB)
  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).
  • Hamad International Airport (DOH)
  • Queen Alia International Airport (AMM)
  • Cairo International Airport (CAI)
  • Ataturk International Airport (IST)
  • King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED)
  • King Khalid International Airport (RUH)
  • Kuwait International Airport (KWI)
  • Mohammed V Airport (CMN)

There is no impact on domestic flights in the United States or flights departing the United States, according to the DHS. Electronic devices will continue to be allowed on all flights originating in the United States.

Examples of large electronic devices that will not be allowed in the cabin on affected flights include, but are not limited to tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable, dvd players, electronic game units, and travel printers or scanners.

Airlines were notified on 21 March 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, and have 96 hours to comply, according to the statement. "The measures will be in effect indefintely."

Emirates has confirmed the new security directive issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in a statement. "Electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smart phone, excluding medical devices, cannot be carried in the cabin of the aircraft. The directive comes into effect on 25 March 2017 and is valid until 14 October 2017. It is applicable to all US-bound passengers from Dubai International Airport, whether originating or transiting through. Emirates requests that all passengers travelling to the US pack all electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smart phone in their checked-in baggage,” said an Emirates spokesperson. 

The ruling by the US Government comes after concern about terrorists' ongoing interest in targeting commercial aviation, including transportation hubs over the past two years, said US officials. "Terrorist propaganda has highlighted the attacks against aircraft in Egypt with a soda can packed with explosives in October 2015, and in Somalia using an explosives-laden laptop in February 2016. Terrorists have historically tried to hide explosives in shoes in 2001, use liquid explosives in 2006, and conceal explosives in printers in 2010 and suicide devices in underwear in 2009 and 2012. Within the last year, we have also seen attacks conducted at airports to include in Brussels and Istanbul. Terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items," officials said.

"Evaluated intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items," according to a statement by the DHS. "Based on this information, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Transportation Security Administrator Acting Administrator Huban Gowadia have determined it is necessary to enhance security procedures for passengers at certain last point of departure airports to the United States."

The nine airlines reported by the BBC to be affected by the ban are:

  • Royal Jordanian
  • Egypt Air
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Qatar Airways
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways

The ban was first revealed on Monday in statements from Royal Jordanian Airlines and the official news agency of Saudi Arabia, reported Arabian Business.


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