Laptop ban prompted after explosive test destroyed airplane, DHS chief says

The ban covered cabin use of electronics, not hold storage, as intelligence services allege an undetectable bomb could be made for laptops, but a remote trigger could not.

But this isn't the end for scrutiny of devices on airplanes.

Kelly said at a security conference that the TSA had tested two similar explosive devices concealed in large electronic devices.

"We are raising aviation security as opposed to just going after one single threat", Mr. Kelly, the Homeland Security secretary, said recently at an event in Colorado.

Kelly said he believes the current security levels at US shipping ports is adequate, but his agency must continue to research new technology to keep up with changing threats.

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"We tested it on a real airplane on the ground, pressurized, and to say the least, it destroyed the airplane", Kelly said.

It's been four months since passengers flying from 10 airports in the Middle East had their laptop (and other devices) privileges taken away.

Officials released a statement to CBS News saying communication between the DHS and Transportation Security Agency led to the increase in airline safety.

Travellers flying to the U.S. from almost 300 global airports, including those in Mexico and Canada, are now subject to stepped-up security measures that include stricter screening for electronic devices. USA Today reports that "airlines and security officials are warning about tighter screening that went into effect Wednesday for hundreds of thousands of travelers who fly daily to the US from hundreds of airports".

The regulations could include asking passengers to present larger electronic devices for inspection and prove that they can be powered on.

  • Sonia Alvarado