UK likely to lift electronics ban on flights from Turkey: Transport minister
ANKARAA top Turkish official has said a technical delegation will visit the United Kingdom to discuss the in-cabin ban on electronic devices, adding that he believes the U.K. will likely lift the ban for flights from Turkey.
Turkish Airlines started implementing regulations forbidding passengers from Middle Eastern and North African countries from carrying electronic devices larger than cell phones aboard planes on March 25.
“In order to discuss the in cabin electronics ban by the U.S. and the U.K., a Turkish technical delegation will be in the U.K. today. In our talks with the both countries, we have repeatedly said the required security measures are being taken at the Istanbul Atatürk Airport. I believe the U.K. would lift the ban,” Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said on March 28 in an interview with private broadcaster CNN Türk.
The U.S. and British decisions could hit Istanbul hard after years building up its position as an international hub.
“We have made the International Air Transport Association [IATA] launch the required steps in our talks with them. If different practices are adopted for each country, the reason for the IATA to exist is opened to discussion,” Arslan said.
He added that all risks would be averted if all electronic devices were scanned ahead of each flight.
“We have no problem with security. Our Interior Ministry has checked all of our airports. There is no security problem,” Arskan said.
Turkish Airlines has started implementing the regulations on March 25, the national carrier said on its website.
Its personnel reportedly take passengers’ electronic devices such as tablets and laptops at boarding gates to store them in special containers, as reported by local news agencies.
Passengers are asked to leave their large electronic devices, including tablets, cameras and laptops, to be stored in a solid baggage. Passengers’ data is written on each package and put in a special baggage to be taken to the cargo section of the respective airplane.
The baggage is delivered by a specialized staff after the airplane lands and is later submitted to its owners at the baggage delivery point.
Turkish Airlines has stressed to passengers that it guarantees their devices will not be damaged or lost.