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US lifts electronics ban on Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi

The ban, implemented in March, saw all devices bigger than a phone being prohibited.


Travellers flying to the US from Abu Dhabi can now use their laptops to kill time during the flight.

Etihad's US-bound flights departing from Abu Dhabi International Airport have been exempted from the electronics ban implemented in March, Etihad Airways announced on its website over the weekend. The exemption came following "enhanced security measures" at the airport, although no specifics were given.

The ban, implemented after it was discovered terrorists were building an explosive that could be concealed in carry-on electronic devices, prohibited electronics larger than a phone on US-bound flights from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa. The US had planned on expanding the ban to cover all international flights arriving in the US, but later decided otherwise. Instead, flights and airports are now required to boost security checks.

The flights were removed from the ban after the US Department of Homeland Security confirmed they met tighter security standards put in place last week, it told CNET in an email.

"This approval is verified with visual confirmation by TSA officials ensuring the measures have been implemented correctly and to the full extent required," read the email. "Following the initial visit, TSA officials will resume their regularly scheduled visits to observe operations."

"At this time, only Etihad Airways has had PED restrictions lifted. The other airlines and airports announced in March remain under the restrictions," it added.

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