The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the United States announced on Wednesday that it would enforce stronger security measures in domestic flights. The new procedures include the separate screening of all gadgets and devices larger than a phone, including tablets, e-readers, and handheld consoles.
These new practices respond to the increasing concerns of the Trump administration over a potential terrorist attack that relies on battery-equipped gadgets to trigger explosions and hazardous reactions that are similar in nature and pose a threat to passengers onboard.
Air travelers in the United States will have to submit themselves to longer queues and more intense procedures for the safety of the North American nation. Some, however, have been critical of these decisions and claim the real threats are native to the country.
Kindles, iPads, Nintendo Switch and more need to be screened
In the face of these new measures, both U.S. nationals and foreigners will have to take their precautions to avoid getting stuck in longer security check-up lines as they start to get adopted in more and more airports over the next few weeks and months.
“An increased threat to aviation security” has been the main reason that prompted the TSA to start a pilot program in 10 American airports last May to see how well it worked to search and detect potential threats hidden in regular-sized hardware.
As a result of the successful trials, now passengers carrying any device larger than a smartphone will need to take each of them out and place them in separate bins. A TSA official will then scan the gadgets one by one using the traditional x-ray machines airports have around the world.
As you might have guessed, this includes several in-flight entertainment and work devices that are typically carried nowadays: tablets, e-readers, handheld game consoles, and more. Laptops have also been banned from international flights coming from specific locations in the Middle East and Europe.
Travelers subscribed to the TSA’s Precheck program won’t be affected by the new measures and are exempt from the additional screening procedures unless an official explicitly mandates they submit to the rules anyway.
Domestic terrorism is real and the U.S. pays no attention to it
People all over the world have lost no time to complain about the already cumbersome guidelines of U.S. air travel security. Some have gone beyond that to argument these regulations are ridiculous excuses for foreigners when the real impending threats are already killing dozens every year.
Critics suggest that American law enforcement should focus on stopping criminal phenomena like mass shootings and spontaneous shootings by imposing stronger gun control rules instead of pushing the foreign threat narrative even further.
The Trump administration, in particular, has been bashed over fearmongering. Top government executives have voiced their concerns about war and terrorism spreading in the Middle East and Europe, while domestic incidents continue to happen with no end or preemptive measures in sight.