Amid fears of more sophisticated explosive devices being developed by terrorists, in particular those linked to Al-Qaeda, the US has requested that airports in Europe and the Middle East increase passenger screening.
The new screening process, which applies to all airports in Europe and the Middle East which operate direct flights to the US, may include passengers being asked to power up their electronic devices. Any devices which cannot be powered up, even if it’s just a case of no battery power, will not be allowed on board, as this could indicate that they contain explosives. It is believed that the extra security measures will also include more of a focus on footwear.
The concern is believed to centre round those militants who are travelling from Europe to fight in the Middle East and who may pose a threat should they decide to enter the US as most European passport holders do not require a visa.
Airport authorities in Britain and France have advised passengers that they must allow extra time to clear security.
Although this does not affect passengers departing from Australian airports, should your connection to the US go through Europe or the Middle East, for example Dubai or Abu Dhabi, then you should be aware that such a request may be made and clearing security may take longer.