The Homeland Security Department in the U.S. is asking airlines around the world intensify security measures for international flights to the United States or face a total electronics ban on board.
The United States has issued a demand in which they warn 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa that passengers with laptops and electronics would face a total ban.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly stated the new rules Wednesday.
The new changes will work on passenger vetting, explosives detection and efforts clear out threats to airlines.
“Security is my No. 1 concern,” Kelly said in a speech at the Center for a New American Security. “Our enemies are adaptive and we have to adapt as well.”
Kelly said the changes will be “seen and unseen” and will be applied over the coming days.
He said airlines that will not cooperate or are slow to enforce the new rules could face large electronics carry-on and checked luggage ban. Such airports could also be not allowed to fly into the U.S. However, he said he is positive that airlines will comply and follow the rules.
Michael W. McCormick, executive director and COO of the Global Business Travel Association, said Wednesday that airports will have to add developed explosive trace detection technology over the coming three weeks and add screening over the coming six months, detection dogs and other developed security measures.
McCormick believes that new security measures will limit the potential risks and threats to the U.S. and its airports while permitting passengers to use laptops and other electronics on international flights.
“It’s the best option we have right now,” McCormick said.
The countries included in the laptop and electronics ban to U.S. are Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.