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An increase in security checks for flights from some Middle East airports was announced by Australia, though the country stopped short of implementing the laptop ban introduced by the United States and Britain.
Britain and the US banned laptops and tablet computers in cabins on flights from some countries in the Middle East and North Africa earlier in March, citing fears of possible terrorist attacks.
“Explosive detection screening will be conducted for randomly selected passengers and their baggage. Inspections may also include a targeted screening of electronic devices,” Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said in a statement.
“Our changes are in line with the UK, which recently announced that people traveling from certain destinations will be subject to random explosive trace detection screening. There is no ban on the carriage of electronic devices on flights to Australia at this stage.”
According to the New Indian Express’ report, the increased security checks will hit passengers flying directly to Australia from Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
US officials said their measure was intended to thwart possible attacks on airliners with small explosive devices hidden in consumer electronics.
Alexandre de Juniac, director-general of the International Air Transport Association, said the American and British bans were not sustainable.
“Even in the short term, it is difficult to understand their effectiveness. And the commercial distortions they create are severe,” he said in a speech in Canada.
The US ban affects nine airlines from eight countries — Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The British ban targets flights out of Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Lebanon.