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Ten airports' flights affected by new US electronics restriction

US regulators have identified 10 airports which will be subjected to new security measures regarding commercial flights to the USA.

The security measures will require all personal electronic devices larger than a mobile phone to be placed in checked baggage, and not carried into the cabin of aircraft.

Ten airports with nonstop service to the USA have been selected for the stringent restrictions, based on “the current threat picture”, says the US Department for Homeland Security.

These airports comprise the main hubs of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Doha, Istanbul Ataturk, Cairo, Amman, Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuwait, and Casablanca.

“We have reason to be concerned about attempts by terrorist groups to circumvent aviation security and terrorist groups continue to target aviation interests,” says the Department of Homeland Security, without detailing any specific threat.

But it points out that intelligence is “one aspect of every security-related decision”, and adds that intelligence indicates that tactics employed by such groups include smuggling explosive devices in “various consumer items”.

“Implementing additional security measures enhances our ability to mitigate further attempts against the overseas aviation industry,” says the Department, adding that the new procedures will remain in place “indefinitely”.

All passengers flying from the 10 airports identified will be required to place electronic devices larger than a mobile phone or smartphone in checked luggage.

“This will only impact a small percentage of flights to the USA,” says the Department, adding that airlines will have 96h to comply with the new restrictions from 12:00UTC on 21 March. “The exact number of flights will vary on a day-to-day basis.”

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