Passengers travelling to and from the UK may be asked to power up their phones at airports as part of new security measures proposed by British authorities.
It is not clear which particular routes will be affected, but it is thought that the new security rules will affect travellers travelling to Europe and even transatlantic destinations.
UK transport and security authorities announced the stringent measures in response to ‘US advice’ about the possibility of a credible threat to UK and US security from terror groups in the middle East and Africa. The Guardian reports that American officials told reporters the measures are in direct response to intelligence that ‘Al Qaeda members in Syria and Yemen were developing explosives that could be hidden in phones’- potentially undetectable by security scanners.
iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones are reportedly thought to be of particular interest to security forces during airport security checks according to Reuters.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, who announced the measures to parliament on Tuesday said,”As a result of the changes we are implementing, some passengers may notice additional security measures on some routes, both to and from the UK.”
“Passengers on some routes may also be required to show that electronic devices in their hand luggage can be powered up or face not being allowed to bring the device on to the aircraft. Passengers are advised to make sure electronic devices being carried in hand luggage are charged before they travel.”
“This advice is in line with that issued by the United States and we have updated our official advice to passengers accordingly. For obvious reasons we will not be commenting in detail on the measures or the routes affected. We will work with the aviation industry to minimise disruption as far as possible.”
The US has already announced similar measures to be implemented in the US for airports with direct links to the country.