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Homeland Security Creates New Rule for Electronic Devices on Airplanes

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Going through airport security is everyone’s least favorite part about air travel. In light of certain safety concerns, it’s possible that screening lines at international airports could get even longer.

On July 2, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson released a statement about electronic devices on airplanes. After growing concern over explosives hidden within electronic devices, flyers will now have to turn their electronics on to show screening staff.

The statement is as follows:

DHS continually assesses the global threat environment and reevaluates the measures we take to promote aviation security. As part of this ongoing process, I have directed TSA to implement enhanced security measures in the coming days at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States.

We will work to ensure these necessary steps pose as few disruptions to travelers as possible. We are sharing recent and relevant information with our foreign allies and are consulting the aviation industry. These communications are an important part of our commitment to providing our security partners with situational awareness about the current environment and protecting the traveling public. Aviation security includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by an evolving environment. As always, we will continue to adjust security measures to promote aviation security without unnecessary disruptions to the traveling public.

A few days later, the TSA also released a statement:

As the traveling public knows, all electronic devices are screened by security officers. During the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some devices, including cell phones. Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo additional screening.

TSA will continue to adjust security measures to ensure that travelers are guaranteed the highest levels of aviation security conducted as conveniently as possible.

While travelers in the past have been asked to turn on laptops or cell phones, this rule will now extend to everyone. For regular international flyers, this could result in longer wait times during airport screenings. To make sure you aren’t held up at the airport, keep your electronics charged. If your phone or laptop has dead batteries, you may not be able to fly.

For more information about airport security, check out:

By Stephanie Ervin for PeterGreenberg.com

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