Transportation officials are suggesting that travelers flying to the United States from Mexico arrive at the airport three hours ahead of flight time and have as few electronic devices as possible as carry-on baggage due to new regulations.
Those regulations, introduced by the U.S., went into effect yesterday and are expected to mean a longer security screening process, particularly for electronic devices larger than a smartphone.
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced the new restrictions in June in response to terrorist threats to passenger aircraft. Aviation, he said, is a “crown jewel target.”
The restrictions are seen as a solution to avoid expanding a ban on laptops in airline cabins that was initially imposed on nine airlines flying out of the Middle East and Africa. The ban has since been withdrawn and enhanced security measure put in place instead.
Those measures include more intensive screening and greater use of security dogs.
Passengers may have to demonstrate that their laptops can be powered up. Israeli intelligence efforts suggest that bombs concealed in electronic devices could be a lethal new threat.
“It is time that we raise the global baseline of aviation security,” Kelly told a press conference yesterday. “We cannot play international whack-a-mole with every new threat.”
He said terrorists still see commercial aircraft as “the crown jewel target” for attacks, and that intelligence has shown renewed interest by terrorists to attack airlines.
Mexico’s Communications and Transportation Secretariat recommends travelers be prepared for the new screening process by having their devices separate from other baggage and that any case or cover be removed.