Going to UK, US, Canada? Charge phone or...

UAE airlines have begun implementing the recently announced global security measures for passengers travelling to Canada, the US and the UK.

The new measures oblige passengers flying to destinations in the above-mentioned countries to switch on or power up their electronic devices – mobile phones, laptops, tablets, etc. – upon demand as an additional security measure.

The UAE’s Emirates and Etihad have already started implementing the new mandates, airlines said.

“All those travelling to USA, Canada and the UK are required to switch on their electronic devices at the Dubai International airport or risk being denied access to fly,” Dubai-based Emirates says in its operational update.

“Please ensure that your electronic devices have sufficient power before reaching the airport. This is part of enhanced security measures required by the authorities of these countries,” the airline states in its advisory.

Etihad too has issued a similar advisory for its passengers to the UK. “Etihad Airways has been informed by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) that airline passengers on certain routes out of the UK may be required to show that electronic devices in their hand luggage are powered up or face not being allowed to bring the device onto the aircraft,” it notes.

“Passengers travelling on our flights from London Heathrow and Manchester are required to ensure all electronic devices in their hand luggage are charged to minimise any potential disruption to their journey.”

According to recent rules issued by the US’ Transport Security Administration (TSA), passengers travelling from Europe, the Middle East and Africa to the US must be able to turn on their electronics at security in order to prove they are genuine.

The US Department of Homeland Security had, earlier this month, instructed TSA to take additional security measures. “DHS continually assesses the global threat environment and re-evaluates the measures we take to promote aviation security. As part of this ongoing process, I have directed TSA to implement enhanced security measures in the coming days at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States,” Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said in a statement issued on July 2.

“We will work to ensure these necessary steps pose as few disruptions to travellers as possible. We are sharing recent and relevant information with our foreign allies and are consulting the aviation industry. These communications are an important part of our commitment to providing our security partners with situational awareness about the current environment and protecting the traveling public,” he said.

“Aviation security includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by an evolving environment. As always, we will continue to adjust security measures to promote aviation security without unnecessary disruptions to the traveling public.”

In a statement, the TSA said: “As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers. During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft.”

This was followed by an announcement by the UK Department for Transport regarding stepping up some aviation security measures. “In line with the US advice, passengers on some routes into and out of the UK may now also be required to show that electronic devices in their hand luggage are powered up or face not being allowed to bring the device onto the aircraft,” it noted.

“Passengers flying into or out of the UK are, therefore, advised to make sure electronic devices being carried in their hand luggage are charged before they travel,” DfT said, adding that, “[f]or obvious reason, we will not be commenting in detail on the routes affected. We will work with the aviation industry to minimise disruption as far as possible.”

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)

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