July 17, 2017 2:03 pm
Updated: July 17, 2017 2:09 pm

U.S. lifts laptop ban on airlines flying out of the Middle East

This May 8, 2014 file photo shows Emirates passenger planes at Dubai airport in United Arab Emirates.

AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili
A A

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said on Monday it had lifted a ban on passengers on Saudi Arabian Airlines carrying large electronics like laptops onboard U.S.-bound flights, the last carrier under the restrictions.

In March, U.S. officials imposed restrictions on passengers carrying laptops and other large electronic gear in cabins on nine airlines, most of which were Middle Eastern carriers, to address the potential threat of hidden explosives.

Story continues below

Last month, U.S. officials announced new security requirements for all airlines rather than an expansion of the laptop ban and have been dropping the restrictions from airlines as they boosted security.

READ MORE: U.S. lifts laptop ban on flights from Dubai, Istanbul, Emirate and Turkish airlines, Qatar Airways

A TSA spokesman said the U.S. government had lifted the restrictions at Saudia Arabian Airlines’ main hub in Jeddah at King Abdulaziz International Airport on Monday. U.S. government officials will visit Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport “later this week to confirm compliance there as well,” spokesman James Gregory said.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a revised directive to airlines around the world in response to requests that it clarify aviation security measures scheduled to begin taking effect later this week.

An airline official briefed on the matter said the directive gave airlines more flexibility and additional time to obtain explosive trace detection equipment. The official was not authorized to discuss sensitive security issues with the media and requested anonymity.

© 2017 Reuters

Report an error

Comments

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.