US, UK-bound planes forbid electronics as of Saturday

March 25, 2017 2:37 pm

Passengers
traveling to the from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority
countries will be prohibited from bringing laptops, tablets and other
portable electronic devices on board with them when they fly, March 21,
2017. (Photo by Reuters)

A and UK ban that forbids
electronic devices larger then a cell phone from being carried into
cabin baggage on flights from certain states has come into effect.

The
ban affects Turkey and some countries in the Middle East and North
Africa such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Lebanon.
Turkish
airlines have already started to implement the ban after what American
and British officials claimed that there is an increased risk that
 larger electronic devices measuring 16×9.3×1.5 cementers could contain
explosives.
The US Department for Homeland Security has cited
attacks on planes and airports over the past two years as the reason for
the ban. Bombs had been hidden in such items as a soft drink can and
laptops, it said referring to the downing of a Russian airliner over
Egypt in October 2015 with the loss of 224 lives and the unsuccessful
Somali attack last year, respectively.
However, the Turkish
transport minister has harshly criticized the new measures. And, Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the US and the UK to lift the ban
as soon as possible.
The US ban affects airlines from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt and Kuwait.
Britain
has followed the US lead, imposing restrictions on carry-on electronic
devices on planes coming from certain airports in 13 Muslim-majority
countries including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi
Arabia. The British restrictions however do not include the UAE or
Qatar.

A
man puts his laptop inside his suitcase at Kuwait International Airport
in Kuwait City before boarding a flight to on March
23, 2017. (Photo by AFP)Canada is also
considering taking similar measures. Ottawa said it will examine all the
related information presented by the US and Britain.
Passengers can still take most smartphones, games consoles and DVD players onto the plane, a UK government spokeswoman said.
However, experts and technologists have been critical of the measure, saying it contradicts with the basic computer science.
European security experts are to meet next week to discuss the US and the UK bans, The Guardian newspaper reported.
Last
week, the US transportation safety administration announced that
passengers from thirteen countries, travelling to the US, would no
longer be allowed to carry onboard gadgets larger than a cell phone.
The
new regulation bans passengers from bringing laptops, tablets and
cameras larger than cell phones into the cabin. Airlines had been given
96 hours to abide by the rule. Saudi Arabia’s Saudia Airlines and Royal
Jordanian airlines are among the affected ones.
Royal Jordanian Airlines has tweeted suggestions of things to do during a long flight instead of using an electronic device.

Royal
Jordanian Airlines has tweeted suggestions of things to do during a
long flight instead of using an electronic device. (Twitter Photo)Ironically
none of the countries affected by this order were in the list including
the controversial travel ban decree issued by President Donald Trump
after taking office in January.
In
the Initial executive order signed by Trump, people from Iran, Syria,
Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen faced a 90-day entry ban, indefinitely
barring refugees from Syria. However, in the revised order Iraq was
taken off the list. But the revised also faced court hurdle as a federal
judge in Hawaii issued a sweeping freeze of ban citing discrimination
against citizens of six Muslim-majority countries.

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