Stricter airline screening measures to take effect Thursday: report

Stricter airline screening measures to take effect Thursday: report
© Getty Images

A new round of aviation security measures is expected to be in place by Thursday or airlines may face a ban on laptops in the flight cabin, according to Reuters.

The stricter screening standards for all U.S.-bound flights, which could include short security interviews with passengers, are part of the Trump administration’s efforts to beef up aviation security in the face of evolving terrorism threats.

The new measures are expected to impact about 2,000 commercial flights that arrive daily in the U.S. from 105 different countries, Reuters reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

The U.S. unveiled a new aviation security plan this summer, with the various requirements being rolled out in stages. Airlines with direct flights to the U.S. must comply with the new standards in order to avoid a ban on large electronics in the flight cabin.

Airlines had 120 days to comply with a requirement that includes enhanced passenger screening. Air carriers must have those new standards in place by Thursday, Reuters reported.

Lufthansa Group told Reuters that travelers could be subject to short interviews during the check-in process or at the gate, while economy passengers on Lufthansa’s Swiss airline are being advised to check in at least 90 minutes before their flight.

And Cathay Pacific Airways also said passengers may face short security interviews, and is reportedly urging travelers to arrive three hours before departure.

A number of immediate security changes have already taken effect, including increased security around aircraft and in passenger areas, as well as an expansion in explosive trace detection.

David Pekoske, the new head of the Transportation Security Administration, said at a conference last week that the first round of security changes was nearly complete, and the agency is now focused on the next stage.

The final phase will focus on insider threats and putting pre-clearance in place at last points of departure airports, he added.

"Anyone who thinks the threat to aviation is steady or diminished, it’s not,” Pekoske said.