Today the government announced there will be changes to aviation security measures for selected inbound flights to the United Kingdom. The House will be aware that the United States Government made a similar announcement earlier today regarding flights to the United States and we have been in close contact with them to fully understand their position.
In conjunction with our international partners and the aviation industry, the UK government keeps aviation security under constant review. The UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures in the world and at all times the safety and security of the public is our primary concern. We will not hesitate to put in place measures we believe are necessary, effective and proportionate.
Under the new arrangements, phones, laptops and tablets larger than; Length: 16.0cm, Width: 9.3cm, Depth: 1.5cm will not be allowed in the cabin on selected flights to the UK from the countries affected. Most smart phones fall within these limits and will continue to be allowed on board. However, devices larger than these dimensions may not be carried in the cabin. This is in addition to other existing security arrangements. This will apply to inbound flights to the UK from the following locations: Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia.
Passengers are therefore advised to check online with their airline for further details.
We understand the frustration that these measures may cause and we are working with the aviation industry to minimise any impact. Our top priority will always be to maintain the safety of British nationals. These new measures apply to flights into the UK and we are not currently advising against flying to and from those countries. Those with imminent travel plans should contact their airline for further information. More information can be found on the Department for Transport website and the travelling public should consult the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel advice pages on GOV.UK.
I know the House will recognise that we face a constantly evolving threat from terrorism and must respond accordingly to ensure the protection of the public against those who would do us harm. The update we are making to our security measures is an important part of that process.
We remain open for business. People should continue to fly and comply with security procedures.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords