US Department of Homeland Security Lifted Ban From Abu Dhabi

Large Electronic Device Ban

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has lifted its ban on electronic devices on all US bound flights from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) after validating its security measures according to a statement from Etihad Aviation Group.


U.S. Department of Homeland Security

“The removal of the restrictions allows passengers flying to the U.S. to carry all laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices onto the aircraft, subject to enhanced security measures,” the UAE airline said in a statement Sunday.  The airline currently operates flights to Chicago (ORD)(1x daily), Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW) (1x daily), New York City (JFK) (2x daily), Los Angeles (LAX) (1x daily), Washington DC (IAD)(1x daily) and San Francisco (SFO)(2x weekly) using a mix fleet of Boeing 777, 787 and Airbus A380.

Etihad Airways US Route Network (July 2017)
Etihad Airways US Route Network (July 2017)


Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates is the first of ten airports to have their electronic device ban lifted. The entire list of airports from the initial March 2017 ban are listed below.


Large Electronic Device Ban Locations
Large Electronic Device Ban Airports      Source: Department of Homeland Security


One of the reasons why Abu Dhabi International Airport is able to demonstrate quickly that it complies with the new measures is that the airport has a U.S. preclearance facility (Related news on U.S. goal to find suitable locations to build more pre-clearance facilities) located in Terminal 3. This means that additional security protocols (including customs and immigration screening) have been implemented before any U.S. bound flights depart the UAE.  Dubai International Airport (DXB) has the same facility and would be more likely to get the ban lifted sooner than the rest of the airports listed.

Enhanced Security Measures

U.S. officials issued a statement last week requesting all airlines, airports and aviation authorities with flights into the country to comply with new enhanced security measures targeting larger electronic devices like laptops after intelligence reports indicate that terrorist groups might use them to hide bombs inside (Related news on enhanced security measures).

Department of Homeland Security has established criteria for all airlines, airports and aviation authorities to follow and to demonstrate their compliance in a short period of time. Violations or lack of evidence shown on a timely basis may result in operating license being revoked.


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