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What The US and UK Laptop Carry-On Bans Mean For Australians

Travelling via some countries may mean that you're required to put electronics in the hold.

22/03/2017 9:51 AM AEDT | Updated 22/03/2017 2:31 PM AEDT

The U.S. and UK have announced that passengers on certain flights will be banned from carrying laptops and other electronic devices. For those travelling from a set list of countries in the Middle East and North Africa, these devices will no longer be permitted in the cabin of an aircraft and instead will have to be placed in the hold.

The bans are believed to have been prompted by threats against commercial airlines by terrorist groups, with the Canadian Transport Minister, Marc Garneau, saying that his country was also considering enforcing similar restrictions.

"Our information indicates that terrorist groups' efforts to execute an attack against the aviation sector are intensifying," US officials told reporters on Monday.

THE UNITED KINGDOM

What will be banned?

  • Phones, laptops or tablets larger than a normal sized mobile or smartphone will not be permitted in the cabin;
  • Any electronic device exceeding 16.0 cm (length), 93 cm (width) and 1.5 cm (depth) will be banned.

Who is affected by the ban?

  • The UK has implemented a ban on all direct flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia;
  • Six UK carriers will be affected, including: British Airways, EasyJet, Jet2.com, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson;
  • An additional 8 overseas carriers will also be affected: Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airways, Atlas-Global Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Egypt Air, Royal Jordanian, Tunis Air and Saudia.

THE UNITED STATES

What will be banned?

  • Passengers on flights arriving from specific airports will not be able to carry on any electronic device larger than a smartphone;
  • Laptops, tablets, e-readers, electronic cameras and portable DVD players will be allowed only in checked luggage;

Who is affected by the ban?

  • The US ban affects flights to and from the U.S. from: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates;
  • Affected airlines include: Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Saudia and Turkish Airlines.

How will Australians be affected?

At present, the Australia Government has not said whether similar restrictions will be introduced, however Australians will affected if they are travelling to either the U.S. or UK from one of the nominated countries or airlines.

Contrary to some reports however, Australians travelling to the UK via the United Arab Emirates (e.g Dubai or Abu Dhabi) will not be affected by the laptop ban. Australians travelling to the U.S. via UAE will be affected -- but that's an unlikely route to take from Australia.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, told The Huffington Post Australia that the Government was aware of the changes implemented by the U.S. and UK.

"Australia has a comprehensive and strong transport security system in place to prevent acts of terrorism which we continuously review to ensure it addresses contemporary threats," he said.

Dr John Coyne, Head of Border Security with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told the ABC that raids in Yemen earlier his year revealed that Al Qaeda was planning to use improvised explosive devices in attacks.

"This is a logical first move in responding to that risk," he said.

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