by Mark Albert
WASHINGTON (TVR) – The controversial electronics ban on some flights into the United States is nearly gone, with only one airline yet to comply with Trump Administration demands, even as more airports fear they could be next if they don’t heed a U.S. ultimatum to improve security.
On Wednesday, the Transportation Security Administration announced the ban on large electronics had been lifted from flights from Cairo, Egypt, after the country’s flagship carrier, Egypt Air, “implemented the required initial enhanced security measures,” the TSA said in a tweet.
The ban covers any electronic devices larger than a smartphone, and includes laptops, tablets, e-readers, and video game players.
King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED) and King Khalid International Airport (RUH) are the only two that remain on the electronics ban.
Electronics Ban Ultimatum
The airlines and airports had to implement new, U.S.-devised security and passenger screening requirements to be removed from the electronics ban.
Other airports fear they could be added to the electronics ban, however.
Late last month, DHS Secretary John Kelly announced new security measures for all U.S.-bound flights worldwide, about 2,100 on an average day or 118 million passengers a year.
“It is time to raise the global baseline of aviation security,” Secretary Kelly said in his prepared remarks.
“We cannot play international whack-a-mole with each new threat. Instead, we must put in place new measures across the board to keep the traveling public safe and make it harder for terrorists to succeed.”
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The changes to passenger vetting, screening electronics for explosives, and other measures, came instead of a broad expansion of the electronics ban, as many critics had feared.
If they did not comply with the new security directive, Kelly vowed DHS may extend the original electronics ban to flights from their locations, greatly affecting travel.
“Those [airports] who choose not to cooperate or are slow to adopt these measures could be subject to other restrictions—including a ban on electronic devices on their airplanes, or even a suspension of their flights to the United States,” said Kelly.
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