The US electronics ban has been lifted from Abu Dhabi International Airport

03 July, 2017, 01:55 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • The laptop ban on flights to the US has been lifted at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Airports

Abu Dhabi has become the first airport to lift the United States electronics ban, it announced today.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad on Sunday night said US-bound passengers can now take electronics on board its aircraft.

The capital of the United Arab Emirates is the first city to become exempt from the U.S. ban on laptops and tablets being brought in hand luggage following the airport's increased security measures.

In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security said Etihad Airways has been "granted approval to allow personal electronic devices in the cabin of the aircraft on US bound flights from Abu Dhabi International Airport".

"The enhanced security measures, both seen and unseen, include enhanced screening of passengers and electronic devices", Lapan said, declining to elaborate.

Etihad said its passengers flying to the United States from Abu Dhabi International Airport "clear US Immigration and Customs at the US Preclearance facility in Terminal 3". Neither Abu Dhabi International Airport nor Homeland Security immediately responded to a request for comment.

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The US laptop ban was announced in March and now applies to nine global airports in the Middle East: Amman, Kuwait City, Cairo, Istanbul, Jeddah, Riyadh, Casablanca, Doha and Dubai.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly suggested in a May appearance on Fox News that the ban could be expanded to all worldwide flights, but officials backed away from that proposal last week. Other airlines like Emirates did not say till the time of going to press if the ban on large electronic devices in passenger cabins on their nonstop to United States had also been lifted.

The move came after intelligence officials learned of efforts by the Islamic State group to fashion a bomb into consumer electronics.

The laptop ban, as well as a Trump administration travel ban on six predominantly Muslim nations, has hurt Gulf long-haul carriers.

A Syrian woman traveling to the United States through Amman in March opens her laptop before checking in at Beirut International Airport.

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