The Department of Homeland Security’s ban on carry-on laptops in passenger flights from the Middle East will no longer apply to the United Arab Emirates, according to a statement by a UAE airline group on Monday. The statement, released by Etihad Aviation Group, said that DHS officials have determined that security measures inside the UAE’s Abu Dhabi International Airport meets DHS standards and that the ban is thus no longer necessary.
“The removal of the restrictions allows passengers flying to the U.S. to carry all laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices onto the aircraft, subject to enhanced security measures,” the airline said in a statement Sunday.
The ban still holds for passengers flying to the United States from nine other Middle East and northern African airports. The airports are in eight countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, and Turkey, in addition to UAE.
DHS instituted the ban in March, when it states that passengers from any of these locations could not carry any electronic device larger than a mobile phone on board with them. Laptops would need to go in their luggage or be mailed to the destinations separately. The department was reportedly acting on warnings that terrorists might try to hide explosives in laptops.
The department considered extending it to flights from airports in Europe and eventually to all flights from anywhere outside U.S. territory. DHS is holding off on extending the laptop ban to other countries for now, provided that their airlines agree to spend more money and personnel on heightened security screening procedures