U.S. officials on Wednesday announced enhanced security and screening measures for all commercial flights to the United States but backed away from a proposal to expand a ban on laptops and other electronic devices — unless airlines and airports refuse to comply with the new rules.
Since March, passengers on flights to the United States from certain primarily Muslim-majority countries have been prohibited from bringing electronic devices larger than a cellphone on board with them. But those restrictions could be lifted if the affected airlines and airports adopt the new security protocols, officials said.
Department of Homeland Security officials said airlines and airports will be responsible for implementing the changes and communicating new procedures to the traveling public. Officials declined to offer specifics about the changes, citing security concerns, but said they could include enhanced screening of laptops and smartphones and increased security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas.