Homeland Security Department ends laptop ban for Abu Dhabi airline

Tammy Harvey
July 3, 2017

A Syrian woman traveling to the United States through Amman in March opens her laptop before checking in at Beirut International Airport.

The Department of Homeland Security lifted its controversial electronics ban from all USA -bound flights from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), after the airport's dominant carrier, Etihad Airways, made prompt changes to security and screening ordered by the Trump administration.

Affecting 180 airlines and 280 airports, it is anticipated that Etihad Airways is one of the first airlines to be able to satisfy the short-term measures required by the Transportation Security Administration due to the superior security advantages provided by the preclearance facility.

The Department of Homeland Security said Sunday that it is lifting the ban because additional security measures have been put in place. He said Etihad's efforts are a "model for both foreign and domestic airlines looking to adopt the new measures".

The UAE's national airline Etihad praised the decision made by the American Department of Homeland Security.

The U.S. ban, first announced in March, now applies to nonstop U.S. -bound flights from nine worldwide airports in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai in the UAE. It operates 45 flights a week between Abu Dhabi and six cities in the U.S.

Lapan, the DHS spokesman, would not detail the security measures.

Passengers are encouraged to make use of the US Immigration facility at Abu Dhabi Airport, which allows travellers to clear US immigration and customs formalities before flying to the US, instead of after landing.

The customs pre-clearance facility also allows guests to through-check their baggage to their final destination in the US. Other airlines like Emirates did not say till the time of going to press if the ban on large electronic devices in passenger cabins on their nonstop to U.S. had also been lifted.

The airline transported 203,515 passengers to the United States from Abu Dhabi between January 1 and April 30, an increase of 13,157 passengers over the same period a year ago.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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