Minister announces US could lift laptop ban for Turkish Airlines

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MARCH 22: A man checks his tablet computer at the departures lounge as an airliner is seen parked at the apron in the background at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey on March 22, 2017. United Kingdom's flag carrier airline British Airways has started to implement a ban which had issued by British government on all direct flights from the airports in Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia. The British government's ban applies to any electronical device larger than 16 centimeters (6 inches) by 9 cm (3-and-a-half inches) onboard. AFP

Turkish Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said on Tuesday Washington is set to lift a ban on large electronic devices, known as the laptop ban, on US-bound flights of Turkish Airlines.

According to a state-run Anadolu news agency report, US security officials will review arrangements at Turkish airports on Wednesday, after which the ban should be lifted.

Turkey is an exceptional country as our security forces can take safety measures independently,” Arslan said in a statement by his ministry on Tuesday.

In March, the US banned electronics devices larger than a smart phone from the cabin on several airlines flying from the Middle East because it was worried they could be used to smuggle explosives on board.

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security lifted the ban for Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways because it had put additional security measures in place.

“Turkish Airways and Emirates Airline have initiated the process for lifting the ban by alerting the [Transportation Security Administration] they are ready to comply with the enhanced security measures,” a DHS spokesman told CNN on Tuesday.

“TSA is scheduled to visit Turkish Airways and Emirates Airline [on July 5] to verify the measures have been implemented correctly and to the full extent required.”

If all procedures are in place, Turkey could be taken off the banned list as early as Wednesday, the DHS spokesman added.

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