Political News

Mexico says electronic device checks on US flights start today

Posted July 19

If you're flying from Mexico to the US, be prepared for an extra-long security line. Starting Wednesday, July 19, 2017. passengers on direct flights to the US will have to undergo extra security checks for portable electronic devices larger than a phone.

Passengers on flights from Mexico to the United States can expect longer security checks starting Wednesday -- part of a larger US push for extra scrutiny for inbound flights worldwide.

Airlines in Mexico will now subject passengers on direct US-bound flights to extra security checks for portable electronic devices larger than a phone, Mexico's civil aviation authority said.

This comes three weeks after US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said his country would soon require all US-bound flights to implement the checks.

Passengers planning to travel into the United States should "show up at the airport three hours before departure to comply with the procedures," Mexico's civil aviation authority said Tuesday.

Related: Airlines grapple with requirements to avoid laptop ban

Devices that passengers take with them into the cabin will be subjected to safety checks and should be presented separately from the rest of the luggage, and without a cover or any other protection, the authority said.

The DHS said the extra checks are in response to concerns that terror groups are seeking new ways to circumvent aviation security.

The checks are among other measures, "both seen and unseen," that will be phased in over time, Kelly said last month. His agency refused to detail all of the new measures for security reasons.

The DHS hasn't said when the new measures would be fully implemented.

"While some will be required immediately, other measures will be implemented over time, in coordination with our international partners," the DHS says on its website.

Laptop ban still in effect for Saudi airport

Kelly's June 28 announcement was in addition to the laptop bans that the DHS earlier imposed on flights from certain countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The ban was put in place because officials feared the devices could be used to smuggle explosives on board.

As of Monday, only one airport -- King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia -- still was under the ban.

US officials lifted the ban for passengers coming from Cairo, Egypt; Casablanca, Morocco; Istanbul, Turkey; Doha, Qatar; Amman, Jordan; Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; and Kuwait after airports and airlines implemented heightened security measures.

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