Kiwis skip new US security measures

Kiwis flying from New Zealand to the United States will not be required to undergo strict new security measures being introduced for uncharged mobile phones and laptops.

It comes after the US declared it will not allow phones or laptops, in particular Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones, on to US-bound flights from some airports if the devices are not charged.

However, New Zealand airlines have not been asked to implement the measure, an Aviation Security Services spokesman confirmed.

This was good news, as it meant New Zealand was a reasonably safe place, he said.

"Any airline that was flying direct to America from its point of departure would be asked, if it was in a risk area, to implement some additional procedures, but New Zealand has not been asked at this stage."

Any such request would be made to the airline, and not directly to the Aviation Security Services or the Civil Aviation Authority.

The new regulations are part of the US Transportation Security Administration's bid to step up surveillance amid concerns terrorists are plotting to blow up an airliner.

Passengers may be asked to turn on their electronic devices at airport checkpoints, and if they did not have power they would not be allowed onto the plane, the TSA announced.

Officials in the US are concerned that such electronic devices could be used as a bomb, particularly by Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamist Nusra Front, al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria.

It was feared terrorists had found a way to turn phones into bombs which could avoid detection, the US officials said. There are also concerns undetectable bombs could be built into shoes.

Passengers on US-bound flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be forced to undergo the extra security on their phones, laptops, tablets or other electronic devices. If a device does not turn on, the passenger will be subject to "additional screening".

 

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