Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Banning Computers In The Cabin: What We Know

Washington and London on Tuesday decided to ban laptops and tablets in cabins on flights from several Arab countries and Turkey. Here is what we know:

- What is forbidden -

- According to the US decision, all electronic devices bigger than a mobile phone will be banned in the cabin as of Saturday and will have to be placed in the hold. These concerns laptops, tablets, game consoles, readers, DVD players, cameras ...

- For the direct flights of the companies concerned to the United Kingdom, London decided to prohibit in the cabin "any phone, laptop or tablet larger than a normal size mobile phone (length 16 cm, width 9.3 Cm, and thickness 1.5 cm) ".

- The countries concerned -

- The United States will apply these measures from Saturday to eight countries, all allies or partners of the United States: Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the Arab Emirates United States and Morocco.

- The United Kingdom immediately applies these restrictions to Turkey and five Arab countries: Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

- Affected airlines -

- Fifty daily flights from nine airlines (Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways) are affected by the US decision.

- The British decision concerns 14 airlines: British Airways, EasyJet,, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Thomson, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egyptair, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air, and Saudia.

- Why -

- The United States has alleged a risk of attacks. "The intelligence review indicates that terrorist groups continue to target air transport and are looking for new methods to carry out their attacks, such as concealing explosives in consumer goods," a US official said.

According to CNN, quoting a senior official from the Donald Trump administration, the decision was linked to a threat from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQPA), the branch of the jihadist group in Yemen.

- In London, Transport Minister Chris Gayling spoke in a written statement to Parliament about a "constantly evolving terrorist threat". The government spokesman simply referred to "passenger safety" without further details.

- Countries that can follow the US decision -

- France reflected: A spokesman for the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) told AFP that for the moment, "nothing has been decided or arbitrated as far as France is concerned. There is a risk analysis that is underway by the relevant aviation security services, as well as ongoing interdepartmental discussions that will determine whether there are measures in place or not. "

- Australia, New Zealand and Canada, all three members of the powerful alliance of intelligence services "Five Eyes" with the United States and the United Kingdom, are likely to make the same decision as their two Allies.

Canada is examining the possibility of imitating the United States and the United Kingdom, said Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

- According to the German Ministry of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière, "Germany does not currently provide for an equivalent measure".

- Reaction Of The Countries Concerned -

- So far only Turkey has responded: Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan has called on the United States "to step back or alleviate" the measure, citing, in particular, the potential impact on the influx of passengers Turkish Airlines, the flagship of the Turkish economy.

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