Thursday, 29 June 2017

US demands airlines tighten security as it sets out new flight rules

The US is calling for airlines around the world to beef up security on international flights bound for the United States.
Compliance with the new rules, which are due to be set out by the US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, could lead to the lifting of the ban on laptops and other large devices already in place for airlines flying to the US from 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa.

The changes will be phased in over time and include enhanced passenger vetting, explosives detection and efforts to root out insider threats to airlines.

During a speech at the Centre American Security, Mr Kelly said: "Security is my number one concern.

"Our enemies are adaptive and we have to adapt as well."

Mr Kelly said the changes will be "seen and unseen" and phased in during the coming weeks and months.

He said airlines that did not comply or are slow to enforce the new standards could be forced to ban large electronics in both carry-on and checked luggage.

They could also lose authorisation to fly into the US, but he said he is confident the airlines would co-operate.
The current ban, with affects only foreign carriers flying to the US from 10 cities, allows passengers to travel with larger electronics packed in checked baggage.

The new rules will apply to around 180 foreign and US-based airlines, flying from 280 cities in 105 countries, according to Homeland Security.

Around 2,000 international flights land in the United States daily.

The ban on laptop and electronics has been in place since March amid concerns about an undisclosed threat described only as sophisticated and ongoing.

That ban applied to non-stop flights to the United States from Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The roughly 50 affected flights are on foreign airlines.

The government had considered expanding the laptop ban to include some European airports, though Mr Kelly had suggested it was looking at alternatives.

The ban on laptops was triggered by an undisclosed threat that terrorists could smuggle a bomb in the batteries of larger devices.

SKY      News.

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