The Trump administration said Wednesday that it will require airline passengers to remove all electronic items larger than a mobile phone from carry-on baggage for screening.
Previous rules required only laptops to be removed for separate screening. The stricter security rules have been in place at 10 U.S. airports as part of a pilot program, and will be expanded to all U.S. airports in the weeks ahead.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials said the new rules only apply in standard security lines, not in lines for “pre-check” passengers.
“It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe,” said TSA Acting Administrator Huban Gowadia.
Last week, the U.S. ended a four-month ban on laptops and other large electronic devices in the cabins of U.S.-bound flights from certain airports in the Middle East and Northern Africa. The ban was initiated in March after U.S. officials cited intelligence that terrorists were potentially working on concealing explosives in laptops and other larger devices commonly carried onboard aircraft. The U.S. had been considering expanding the laptop ban to inbound flights from Europe as well, but in June settled for enhanced security and screening measures for all commercial flights to the U.S.