Laptop in aircraft cabin from

US to curb laptops and tablets on flights from eight countries

Airline passengers traveling from eight Middle Eastern and North African nations, will be barred from carrying large electronic devices into the main cabin under new regulations from the Trump administration.

The Financial Times reported, the rules which come into effect on Tuesday (21 Mar), do not impact any US carriers. They will also not apply to flights leaving the US for the same countries, according to an official who requested anonymity.

The new rules, issued by the Department of Homeland Security, is in relation with the US effort to tighten security following President Trump’s presidential race pledge to do more to handle terrorism.

This move comes two weeks after Trump’s revised travel ban that temporarily bans citizens of six Muslim countries from entering the US, which has been blocked by courts, preventing implementation for the time being.

BBC also reported that last February an aircraft operated by the Dubai-based carrier Daallo was damaged by an explosion shortly after take-off from the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Investigators found out that a passenger who was sucked out of the plane had been carrying a laptop bomb. The alleged bomber was the only fatality for the pilot managed to land plane.

An Islamic militant group al-Shabab, linked with al-Qaeda, claimed that it was responsible for the incident.

Prevention of possible similar attacks is apparently what causes the new rules, but officials will not reveal about why the ban is being proposed. They said the ban had no end date.

A formal list of the affected airlines has not yet been released, but an official speaking to the Associated Press said it would apply to the following 10 airports in eight countries:

  • King Abdulaziz International, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • King Khalid International, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Queen Alia International, Amman, Jordan
  • Cairo International Airport, Egypt
  • Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Kuwait International Airport
  • Abu Dhabi International, United Arab Emirates
  • Dubai International, United Arab Emirates
  • Mohammed V International, Casablanca, Morocco
  • Hamad International, Doha, Qatar

According to the US media, the new ban has been under consideration for several weeks. It was not explained why the Trump administration chose the eight countries.