Passengers on flights to the United States from eight countries in the Middle East and Africa will not be allowed to bring any electronic devices bigger than a smartphone onboard because of new security restrictions from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) notified a number of international carriers flying those routes that starting today, passengers will have to check iPads, Kindles, laptops and other devices before going through security or boarding because of safety concerns.
“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,” DHS said in a statement Tuesday morning. “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.”
Nine carriers are being impacted by the new rule—Egyptair, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines.
No U.S. airline will be affected as none flies nonstop from the 10 cities included—Cairo, Egypt; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.; Istanbul, Turkey; Doha, Qatar; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; and Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia—to the United States.
Both Royal Jordanian Airlines and Saudi Airlines confirmed the changes on Twitter on Tuesday morning. Royal Jordanian said that its flight To Montreal, which continues through Detroit, would also be affected.
Translation: Disclaimer for guests on portable computers and non-prevention tablets inside the plane on flights to United States
According to reports, any carrier that doesn’t comply with the new rules will have its FAA certificate revoked and will not be allowed to fly to the United States. Reports also said the ban will only be in place for a limited time.