US lifts electronics ban on flights from Middle East


The United States has said it is lifting a ban on electronic devices in aircraft cabins on flights from eight Muslim-majority countries, four months after it was imposed.

"With enhanced security measures in place, all restrictions on large PEDs [power electronics and drive systems] announced in March for 10 airports/9 airlines have been lifted," David Lapan, a spokesman for the US Department of Homeland Security, tweeted Wednesday.

In late March, the US administration imposed a ban on large electronic devices in airliner cabins on direct flights out of 10 Middle Eastern airports.

The affected airports were in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Casablanca, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kuwait City and Riyadh. US authorities cited security concerns for the ban.

The move followed US President Donald Trump's controversial 90-day ban on most travellers from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, and a 120-day halt to refugee approvals from around the world.

Last month, Washington said it would require more stringent screening of passengers boarding commercial flights to the US as part of a series of enhanced security measures.

The new measures affect 280 airports in 105 countries and 180 airlines. Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly said at the time that the included enhanced screening of electronic devices, more thorough passenger vetting and new measures designed to mitigate the potential threat of insider attacks.

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