Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Millions of Air Passengers Warned: Allow More Time for Extra Security Search

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Millions of Air Passengers Warned: Allow More Time for Extra Security Search

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

MILLIONS of air passengers were today told to allow time for an additional security search just before they get on board as airlines rushed to implement a new laptop ban.

The US and UK have announced new carry-on restrictions banning large electronic devices, including laptops, larger phones, Kindles and tablets, on certain passenger flights.

But it emerged today that people flying from six countries to the UK will be searched a second time, at the boarding gate, to make sure they have not been handed banned items in the "airside" areas of terminals.

Officials suggested the intensity of the extra search will vary between flights and airlines, and may range from a simple bag search to a full body scan.

Where there is a "closed" boarding gate, at which passengers cannot mingle with people on different flights, the search will usually take place when people enter the waiting area.

But at "open" gates, where people on different routes sit together, they will have to be searched as they leave it to get onto the aircraft.

A Department for Transport spokesman confirmed that the procedures could cause delays and urged travellers to ask their airlines whether they needed to allow extra time. "The additional security measures may cause some disruption for passengers and flights, and we understand the frustration that will cause, but our top priority will always be to maintain the safety of British nationals," he said.

The restriction affects passengers on UK-bound flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

US media reported that the crackdown was prompted by "credible" and "substantiated" intelligence that socalled Islamic State was plotting to smuggle explosives onto planes by hiding them in electronics.

British anti-terror adviser Dr Sally Leivesley said a laptop ban was needed because a small bomb in a cabin could punch a hole in the side of an aircraft causing "massive depressurisation" and "certain death for everyone on board". …

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