LAX (CBSLA.com) — If you are on holiday or business outside the United States, expect increased security measures on your return flight.
New TSA/DHS screening rules will soon be in effect to prevent terrorists from smuggling bombs in electronic devices. That could mean longer waits.
“I don’t mind at all going through any of that because safety is my priority,” said traveler Jocelyn DeGracia.
The threat is so serious that the Department of Homeland Security issued this warning to airports and airlines operating overseas.
“Those who choose not to cooperate or are slow to adopt these measures could be subject to other restrictions, including a ban on electronic devices on aircraft or even a suspension of their flights into the United States,” said Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
The new measures apply to flights to the US from 280 airports in 105 countries.
Among the changes:
- Enhancing overall passenger screening.
- Increasing security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas.
- Expanding the use of bomb-detecting dogs.
And perhaps most importantly:
- Heightened screening of personal electronic devices.
“If they think it’s a concern that they need to take that measure, I’ll abide by it,” said DeGracia.
The enhanced security comes after US intelligence determined more terrorists are learning how to build an explosive hidden in a laptop — like the bomb that detonated on a flight in Somalia last year.
In March, the Trump Administration banned large electronics in the cabins of airplanes traveling to the US from 10 airports in Africa and the Middle East.
The administration had been threatening to widen that ban, which concerned some other countries. Wednesday’s action is seen as a compromise.
One new technology that may now be used: 3D scanners that can better identify explosives in carry-on bags. The machines are being tested at Phoenix International Airport.
“Every time I come through security, it gets worse and worse,” said William, who was headed from LAX to New Zealand. He said he wasn’t surprised to hear about the enhanced screening.
“I mean, we want to travel here. We want to come to this country,” said William. “There’s not really much we can do. It really is a pain.”