Passengers Flying Into US to Face More Scrutiny, but Laptops Allowed – New York Times

Officials did not give a time frame for airlines to put the new measures in place or when passengers could expect to see the changes, but said airlines would be allowed sufficient time to carry out the measures.

“Security is my No. 1 concern,” John F. Kelly, the secretary of homeland security, said Wednesday in announcing the new measures. “Our enemies are adaptive, and we have to be adaptive, too.”

The new security directives are expected to affect about 180 airlines in 105 countries, and some 2,000 direct daily flights to the United States, officials said. They will apply to 280 airports where airlines fly directly to the United States.


A suicide bombing at Brussels Airport in March 2016 left 31 people dead.

Pool photo by Geert Vanden Wijngaert

Airlines that fail to put the new security measures into effect could face fines or a total ban on electronic devices, or could even be restricted from flying to the United States, officials said.

A senior official with a United States airline said that American carriers have already been using enhanced screening at foreign airports, so passengers were unlikely to see many changes.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, did say that the airlines were concerned about the cost of carrying out the screening measures at smaller foreign airports.

The new security screening comes as intelligence shows that the Islamic State is developing a bomb that can be hidden in portable electronics like laptops.

Extremist groups have targeted transportation hubs in the past two years, including the bombing of an airliner in Egypt in October 2015, the attempted downing of a plane in Somalia last year and armed attacks on airports in Brussels and Istanbul.

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