Australia considers laptop ban on flights from Muslim-majority countries

Posted May 17, 2017

The looming ban on in-cabin laptops on flights to the U.S. from Europe and the United Kingdom has been justified on grounds of intelligence suggesting plots to hide explosives in computing devices and detonate them mid-air.

"The government continuously monitors shifts in the threat environment domestically and overseas to ensure we have the best security arrangements in place to meet the challenges we face", Minister Chester said.

In the U.S., the ban affects direct inbound flights on some airlines from eight Muslim-majority nations, with any electronic devices larger than a smartphone (excluding medical devices) banned from being carried on board.

The ban, imposed by the Department of Homeland Security, is already expected to be expanded to flights from Europe to the us but now flights from Australia to the usa are being considered. The Prime Minister didn't respond directly to these comments, but regarding the ban itself said that the Government is "looking at it very closely, taking into account all of the information and advice we're receiving internationally, working very closely with our partners".

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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Adelaide that Australia was looking at the USA ban, which was announced in March, "very closely".

The US and Britain banned laptops in cabins on flights from a number of Muslim-majority countries in response to unidentified security threats in March.

Dr Coyne said banning laptops from cabins raised the issue of whether security screening devices were good enough to detect explosive devices.

The affected airports include Cairo; Istanbul; Kuwait City; Doha, Qatar; Casablanca, Morocco; Amman, Jordan; Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates.