UK reveals aircraft cabin ban on electronics larger than phones

22 Mar 20176 Shares

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Royal Jordanian Airbus A330 landing in Heathrow Airport, London. Image: Photosounds/Shutterstock

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UK follows US lead on banning electronics in cabins on direct flights from a number of countries.

The UK government has announced a cabin ban on devices or electronics larger than cell phones on flights direct to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

The move comes rapidly on the heels of the US Department of Homeland Security establishing rules that will see passengers travelling on airlines from eight nations banned from bringing laptops, iPads, Kindles and cameras aboard flights.

‘We understand the frustration that these measures may cause and we are working with the aviation industry to minimise any impact’
– CHRIS GRAYLING

Instead, they must check any device larger than a cell phone in with their luggage. Medical devices are exempted from the rule.

What prompted the US and UK to implement the electronics ban in aircraft cabins is a mystery, but it may have been prompted by a scare of some kind.

Talks on security

Downing Street said that the decision to ban electronics from cabins followed talks on air security.

“In conjunction with our international partners and the aviation industry, the UK government keeps aviation security under constant review,” UK Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling told Parliament in London.

“The UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures in the world and at all times the safety and security of the public is our primary concern. We will not hesitate to put in place measures we believe are necessary, effective and proportionate.”

Under the new arrangements, phones, laptops and tablets larger than 16cm in length, 9.3cm in width and 1.5cm in depth will not be allowed in the cabin on selected flights to the UK.

“Most smartphones fall within these limits and will continue to be allowed on board. However, devices larger than these dimensions may not be carried in the cabin. This is in addition to other existing security arrangements.”

Grayling said the ban will apply to inbound flights from the following locations: Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia.

“We understand the frustration that these measures may cause and we are working with the aviation industry to minimise any impact,” Grayling said.

“Our top priority will always be to maintain the safety of British nationals. These new measures apply to flights into the UK and we are not currently advising against flying to and from those countries.”

Royal Jordanian Airbus A330 landing in Heathrow Airport, London. Image: Photosounds/Shutterstock.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com