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Australia tightens screening of Middle East-bound flights

Australia will increase security screening measures for passengers flying to the Middle East, but has stopped short of implementing the laptop bans that have come into force in the USA.

Transport minister Darren Chester says in a statement that the “precautionary changes” will include random passenger and explosive detection screening, and “targeted screening” of electronic devices at the aircraft gates.

The changes will be implemented from 10 April.

“Our changes are in line with the UK, which recently announced that people travelling from Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai will be subject to random explosive trace detection screening,” says Chester.

“There is no ban on the carriage of electronic devices on flights to Australia at this stage.”

The enhanced screening will affect flights operated by Qantas, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways that operate non-stop between Australia and the hubs of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha.

Those flights are already subject to gate screening measures that have been in place since 2007.

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