America lifts its laptop ban on Etihad


TWO not entirely unrelated pieces of aviation news have come out of the Gulf in the past few days. The first is that America has lifted its laptop restrictions on Etihad. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) imposed a ban on large electrical devices in the cabins of planes flying from ten Middle Eastern countries in March, including from Abu Dhabi, Etihad’s base. Officials, it seemed, had got wind of a specific terrorist threat, possibly similar to the attempted downing of a jet in Somalia in 2016. On that occasion a passenger detonated a small explosive concealed in a laptop that was placed flush against the cabin wall. (Disaster was probably only averted because the man detonated the device too soon after take-off. The terrorist, who was sucked to his death through the resulting hole, was the only casualty.)

After months of mixed messages (at one point John Kelly, the homeland security secretary, suggested that the laptop ban was “likely” to be extended worldwide) last week the DHS <a…Continue reading



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