By Ana C. Posada
The U.S. has recently placed a ban on electronic devices that are larger than the size of an average smartphone as an anti-terrorist precaution.
According to Downing Street, their mention of airline passengers on 14 carriers would not be able to carry laptops in or on cabin luggage on inbound direct flights.
Because of this action, countries in the Middle East and North Africa and Turkey will be heavily affected by the new regulation. The most popular and heavily trafficked areas being Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Arabia.
Furthermore, Middle Eastern and North African airports affected by this regulation share close family and friend relationships with Washington State.
Because of this action, most people affected by this view this as a drastic and unwelcomed measure. In other sides of the world, wealthy Gulf Arab business leaders flying to the U.S. will also be affected as they will no longer be able to work on their laptops during mid-flight.
This decision was taken deep into consideration when aviation security experts were alarmed by an incident that took place in Somalia last year. This involved an insurgent group called the al-Shabaab smuggling an explosive-filled laptop aboard a flight out of Mogadishu.
The incident resulted in an explosion causing a hole on one of the sides of the plane. Though despite the high risk and threat, no harm was placed on the passengers and the pilots were able to manage the plane back to safety.
Terrorists have been hiding explosives on board airplane flights since 2001using different methods. Because of this, attacks on airplanes have been rising over the years, citing the most attacks in the past two years.
Most bombs hidden in plain sight were intercepted and found in regular items such as soft drink cans were used as liquid explosions as far back in 2006. Other methods consisted of concealing explosive materials in printers in took place in 2010, while suicide devices were intercepted back in 2009 and again in 2012.
In October of 2015, the downing of a Russian airliner flying over Egypt resulted in the death of 224 passengers. The result was caused during an in-flight explosion hidden inside a laptop case, similar to the Somalia attack.
Due to this, the evaluated intelligence services around selected countries indicated that terrorist groups will continue to target commercial aviation, and continue to smuggle, include, and hide explosive devices and materials in various consumer items.
For this very reason, there additional security measures will be implemented despite causing some disruption among passengers and flights.
The top priority in commercial airlines will always be to maintain the safety of travelers, even though it will not always benefit the passenger from the new restrictions.