Change to carry-on items on US-bound flights from Gulf

Photo Source: www.airports-worldwide.com

Observer Online/Vinod Nair

Muscat – After evaluating intelligence inputs that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, the US Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and Transportation Security Administration Acting Administrator Huban Gowadia said it is necessary to enhance security procedures for passengers at certain last point of departure airports to the United States.

These enhancements apply to ten specific airports, said a press release by the US Embassy in Muscat.

The affected overseas airports are 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), Hamad International Airport (DOH), Dubai International Airport (DXB), and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).

The aviation security enhancements will include requiring that all personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone or smart phone be placed in checked baggage at 10 airports where flights are departing for the United States, the statement said.

These enhanced security measures will only affect flights from 10 of the more than 250 airports that serve as last points of departure to the United States. A small percentage of flights to the United States will be affected, and the exact number of flights will vary on a day to day basis. Airlines will know in advance which flights are affected by these measures

Electronic devices larger than a cell phone/smart phone will not be allowed to be carried onboard the aircraft in carry-on luggage or other accessible property. Electronic devices that exceed this size limit must be secured in checked luggage. Necessary medical devices will be allowed to remain in a passenger’s possession after they are screened.

The approximate size of a commonly available smartphone is considered to be a guideline for passengers. 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
There is no impact on 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.