The State Department announced on Monday that it had lifted Laptop restrictions on flights departing Saudi Arabia, marking the final country and cities that were impacted by the months old ban.
With Monday’s announcement, Jeddah and Riyadh were removed.
For all of the airports that were impacted the ban, they have until July 19 to increase screening for explosives. In addition, the airports have 120 days into install other screening techniques in order to be compliant with rules imposed by the TSA and State Department. Otherwise the ban will be put back in place on non-compliant airports.
Homeland Security this morning removed two more airports from it’s ‘Laptop Ban’ list.
Going forward, Passengers flying on Emirates or Turkish or on other carriers flying from Dubai or Istanbul to the USA will no longer have to check their Laptops. This comes after Homeland Security confirmed that heighten screening of electronics devices is in place at airports in Dubai and Istanbul (Ataturk).
The announcement come three days after restrictions were lifted on Etihad Airways’ hub Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Due to the ban, Emirates had reduced capacity by 20%, so it seems likely that they will now bring that capacity back to their 12 US destinations.
This now brings the list of ‘Banned’ airports to 7. Cairo, Casablanca, Riyadh, Jeddah, Doha, Amman, and Kuwait City remain on the list. Abu Dhabi was removed late last week, allowing Etihad passengers to once again bring their laptops aboard their US bound flights.
It shouldn’t be too long before all 7 are compliant and the ban disappears altogether.
US Homeland Security announced on Sunday that it has lifted restrictions that prevented passengers from boarding with their electronic devices on Etihad flights that depart for the USA from Abu Dhabi.
Homeland Security confirmed that the airport and airline now meet stricter screening requirements and have immediately been removed from the list. I suspect that Abu Dhabi was the first to meet the criteria because Etihad already has customs and immigration pre-clearance in place for US bound passengers. It is the only airport in the Mid-East with this capability.
The remaining 9 airports/cities including Amman, Kuwait City, Jeddah, Riyadh, Istanbul, Cairo, Casablanca, Dubai, and Doha remain on the banned list. It appears as though many of them will be removed in the coming weeks as Homeland Security confirms security compliance from these airports.