In an interview on “Fox News Sunday”, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly indicated the U.S. is considering an expansion of the ban on medium and large-size electronic devices to include all international flights as part of a larger effort to increase airport security.
Currently, passengers on flights originating from airports in 10 Middle Eastern and North African cities to the U.S. are prohibited from carrying laptops, tablets and similar-sized technology on-board — a new DHS policy enacted in March.
“That’s the thing that they are obsessed with, the terrorists, the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it’s a U.S. carrier, particularly if it’s full of U.S. people,” Kelly said.
A ban on all large hardware on international flights to and from the Unites States would effect over half a million passengers per day on more than 4,000 planes, according to the International Air Transport Association, which pushed back against the Trump administration earlier in May when reports surfaced that DHS may expand the prohibition to all European flights.
Other increased security measures include more scrutiny of carry-on luggage by TSA agents. Kelly specifically referred to the issue of examining tightly-packed bags during the screening process, as passengers attempt to avoid paying check-in fees.
Sec. Kelly said procedural guidelines used now by TSA at select U.S. airports requiring additional checks of individual baggage items will likely be expanded nationwide.
[Reuters] [AP] [CNNMoney] [Photo courtesy Getty Images via The Independent]