June 29, 2017
DHS Enhancing Security on US-Bound Flights, Might Lift Electronics Ban
The Department of Homeland Security has decided against expanding the in-flight electronics ban. Instead, the DHS announced new security measured to be implemented at all 280 last-point-of departure airports serving direct flights to the US in 105 countries around the world. The DHS also said it would lift the electronics ban from the ten currently banned airports across the middle east if they comply with the new security measures. The enhanced security measures are vague, as usual for airport security. They include the following:
- Enhanced overall passenger screening
- Conducting heightened screening of personal electronic devices
- Increasing security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas
- Deploying advanced technology, expanding canine screening, and establishing additional preclearance locations
Passengers flying to the US may experience additional screening of their person and property. The security enhancements will be implemented in phases over the next several weeks and months. Currently, airport screening for flights coming to the US varies by airport and country. Some airports require much stricter security than others. The US wants to standardize the screening measures around the world and is using the threat of an electronics ban to force airports to comply.
If they have to increase security (again) this is a far better way of doing it than banning in-flight electronics. Storing lithium batteries in the cargo hold is inherently dangerous as they could catch fire, and nobody’s in the cargo hold to put out the fire. Expect longer security lines when flying to the US going forward. You might want to consider getting Global Entry if you fly into the US often. Global Entry is a government approved trusted traveler program which comes with TSA Pre-Check and expedited immigration into the country. If the US were to allow TSA Pre-Check lanes in more countries which comply with US security standards, it could save you a lot of time and headache. Here’s to hopeing!