WASHINGTON â American officials on Sunday exempted Etihad Airways from a ban on laptops and other types of electronics on some flights bound for the United States, restrictions instituted in March because of concerns that the Islamic State was developing a bomb that could be hidden in portable devices.
The flights were cleared, according to Etihad and American officials, because the airline had begun conducting more rigorous passenger screening at Abu Dhabi International Airport, where it is the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates. The Department of Homeland Security said last week that the laptop ban would be lifted for airlines that fulfilled new requirements to increase security.
Lorie Dankers, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, said in a statement that Etihad Airwaysâ adoption of the enhanced security measures was âa testament to the close collaboration, effective communication and shared security commitment between T.S.A., the international civil aviation authorities and industry.â
The Abu Dhabi airport also has a station where Etihad passengers go through United States Customs and Border Protection screening before boarding flights bound for the United States, rather than after landing there. Etihad has 45 flights every week to six American cities.
In a statement, the airline said, âWe welcome the decision by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to lift the electronic devices ban on flights between Abu Dhabi and the United States, following the successful validation of security measures.â