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Laptop ban on planes to US replaced by tighter security

The US Homeland Security Department opts for enhanced security measures over expanding a ban on laptops in the passenger cabins of planes.

Laptop and passport

DHS says the new security measures include heightened screening of personal electronic devices.

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The US Homeland Security Department has decided not to expand a ban on laptops in the passenger cabins of planes flying to the States. Instead it's requiring tighter security measures for all aircraft and airports.

The DHS made the announcement Wednesday, saying the enhanced security standards would apply to all commercial flights to the United States. The 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa affected by the current laptop ban will have that prohibition lifted if they implement the new standards.

The DHS had previously indicated that the ban, which applies to laptops, tablets and other devices larger than mobile phones, might be expanded to all flights from Europe. Later, it said the ban might be applied to all international flights to and from the US.

Homeland Security put the ban in place after intelligence revealed terrorists were developing an explosive that could be hidden in portable electronic devices.

In a fact sheet on its website, the DHS said the new security measures would include "enhancing overall passenger screening; conducting heightened screening of personal electronic devices; increasing security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas; and deploying advanced technology, expanding canine screening, and establishing additional preclearance locations."