The United States on Wednesday unveiled enhanced security measures for flights to the country designed to prevent expanding an in-cabin ban on laptops, but an airline trade group said the changes might cause more disruptions. The measures, which European and US officials said would begin taking effect within three weeks, could require additional time to screen passengers and personal electronic devices for possible explosives.
The measures would affect 325,000 airline passengers on about 2,000 commercial flights arriving daily in the United States, on 180 airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries.
The United States in March banned laptops on flights to the United States originating at 10 airports in eight countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey, to address fears that bombs could be concealed in electronic devices taken aboard aircraft.
Britain quickly followed suit with a similar set of restrictions.
The decision not to impose new laptop restrictions eases US and European airlines’ concern that expanding the ban to Europe or other locations could cause major logistical problems and deter travel.” Inaction is not an option,” US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told a news briefing, adding that he believed airlines would comply with the new screening. But he said the measures were not the last step to tighten security. US carriers said they would follow the new security directive, but industry trade group Airlines for America (A4A), criticized Homeland Security for not working more closely with them on the new policies.
“The development of the security directive should have been subject…