John Kelly, Secretary of DHS, announced enhanced security measures for foreign flights arriving in the US.
"Terrorists want to bring down aircraft," DHS Secretary Kelly said at a conference in Washington, D.C. "They still see aviation as the crown jewel target. However, we are not standing on the sidelines while fanatics hatch new plots," he added. "Together, we have the opportunity to raise the baseline on aviation security globally, and we can do it in a manner that will not inconvenience the flying public."
Both domestic and foreign airlines operating flights into the U.S. from more than 280 airports around the world will be subject to new passenger screening and security measures, both in planes and airports, DHS said. Laptops and other devices larger than cell phones will be allowed back on those flights if airlines follow the new rules.
The new policies will be implemented in phases, DHS said, and will affect 180 airlines in 105 countries ― and about 2,000 flights and 325,000 passengers per day.
Some of the measures have already been tested at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Boston’s Logan International Airport will be the next test site, according to DHS.
Once airlines have implemented these new requirements, the current ban on electronics will be removed. If airlines can't or won't implement the new procedures, they will be barred from transporting personal electronic devices to the United States, in both the cabin and the cargo hold, and could even face suspension of operations into the United States.
Secretary Kelly added that Homeland Security will continue to encourage airports to introduce more sophisticated checkpoint screening technologies and increase their use of canine teams.