US airlines ban laptops, tablets on flights from 8 Muslim-majority countries: India says will wait for official word

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US airlines ban laptops, tablets on flights from 8 Muslim-majority countries. (PTI)

Indian aviation authorities will wait for official communication from the US before deciding on whether to issue any travel advisory following the American government’s ban on big electronic devices in cabin baggage on flights from select the Middle East and African nations.

In a new order, the American government has barred travellers going to the US on flights from select countries from carrying large electronic devices like cameras and laptops as cabin baggage.

As per the restrictions, passengers would have to check-in any devices bigger than a smartphone — including iPads, Kindles and laptops — before clearing security or boarding. The latest decision of the US administration is “more of a security issue rather than a safety issue”, a senior DGCA official told PTI.

There is no official communication so far from the US authorities in this regard, he added. Since the matter pertains more to security aspects, a decision on whether to issue any kind of travel advisory is likely to be taken by the BCAS after discussions, the DGCA official said.

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Only after getting an official communication from the US, any decision would be taken, he added. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is primarily responsible for the safety aspects while the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) deals with the security issues.

The open-ended ban would affect more than 50 flights from 10 airports, including major global hubs like Dubai and Istanbul, according to senior administration officials.

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US airlines ban: Now, laptops, tablets other e-devices forbidden on airlines from 8 Muslim-majority countries

Many flights to the US transit through the airports which have been included in the restrictions list. There is a possibility that Indian travellers transiting through these airports would have to comply with the new US norms.
The 10 international airports covered under the ban are in Cairo, Egypt; Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE; Istanbul, Turkey; Doha, Qatar; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; and Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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