Sunday, 2 July 2017
US removes Abu Dhabi from laptop ban flight list
The United States lifted a ban on laptops in cabins on flights from Abu Dhabi to the US, saying the United Arab Emirates' Etihad Airways had put tighter security measures in place as required. Etihad Airways welcomed the decision and credited a preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport - where passengers clear US immigration before they land in the US - for "superior security advantages" that had allowed it to satisfy US requirements.
Homeland Security spokesman David Lapan said US officials had already seen that "the measures have been implemented correctly and to the full extent required" in Abu Dhabi.
He said American monitors would make further visits to ensure the checks were being done properly.
"The enhanced security measures, both seen and unseen, include enhanced screening of passengers and electronic devices," Lapan said, declining to elaborate.
"We commend Etihad for working swiftly to implement these additional measures. Their efforts are a model for both foreign and domestic airlines."
Etihad is the only airline that operates direct flights from Abu Dhabi to the US - a total of 45 flights a week. The US ban - first announced in March as a security measure over fears that bombs could be concealed in electronic devices taken aboard aircraft - now applies to nonstop US-bound flights from nine international airports in Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Cairo, Egypt; Istanbul, Turkey; Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai in the UAE.