The U.S. and U.K. governments have banned large electronics from the passenger cabin on flights originating in several Middle Eastern and North African countries.
The American ban affects Egypt, Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia; and the United Arab Emirates. The British ban affects Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
The bans will not affect cellphones or medical devices, but electronics such as laptops, DVD players, handheld video game consoles, and cameras must be stowed in a checked bag.
The governments are citing security risks as the cause for the ban, with reports circulating that there is intelligence being shared that a terrorist attack using the banned devices may have been planned, or is expected.
The Canadian and French governments are also contemplating bans, with Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau saying that Canada “is analysing” the intelligence shared by the U.S., with a decision on the ban coming soon.
Affected airlines have 96 hours to comply with the ban before they risk being barred from entering the country.
The ban has angered officials in the affected countries, who have called it a business decision meant to take passengers away from their airports. Some of them, including Turkey’s Istanbul airport, are major transportation hubs between Europe and the rest of Asia.
(Image: Huffington Post)