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IATA criticizes U.S, UK electronics bans as ineffective

[ March 30, 2017 ]

Montreal: Alexandre de Juniac, director general and chief executive of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Tuesday denounced US and British bans on some electronic devices on flights from several Muslim-majority countries, Reuters reported.

He criticized the policies as a move toward "more restricted borders and protectionism", and questioned the efficacy of the bans on devices larger than a cellphone, in a speech to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations.
The restrictions, announced last week, apply to direct flights to Britain and the United States from certain airports in the Middle East and North Africa.
"The current measures are not an acceptable long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate," de Juniac said. "Even in the short term, it is difficult to understand their effectiveness."
The American regulations were prompted by reports that militant groups want to smuggle explosive devices in electronic gadgets. They require that devices larger than a cellphone, including laptops and tablets, must be stowed with checked baggage on US-bound passenger flights from airports in 10 Muslim-majority countries.
Britain followed suit shortly after with a similar ban on larger carry-on electronics on direct flights from six countries. France and Canada said last week that they were examining their policies.