US authorities have secretly required airlines from 13 nations to forbid passengers from carrying any electronic or electrical device larger than a cellphone.
The new edict was distributed in an email described as “confidential” from the US transportation safety administration (TSA) on Monday.
The requirement forbids passengers from bringing laptops, iPads, Kindles and even cameras larger than mobile phones into the cabin. All such devices must be checked.
Saudi Arabia’s Saudia Airlines and Royal Jordanian airlines are among the affected countries; the full list has not been revealed to the affected airlines themselves.
The email – described as a “circular” – is not a public regulation, but airlines will be expected to enforce the new rule. Airlines were issued the circular on Monday and given 96 hours to comply; the rules apply to flights both to and from the US, according to Royal Jordanian airlines.
The circular does not address electronic flight bags (EFBs), which allow flight crews to display diagrams mapping flight patterns, maps of airports and other digital documentation, usually on an iPad.
The lack of specificity leaves airlines in the dark as to whether their employees will be cited or otherwise punished for performing the vital functions of aircraft crew as usual...