Department of Homeland Security New Security Protocols & International Summer Research Travel
By Jennifer Horn, with appreciation to Dr. Jennifer K. Yucel
On Wednesday, March 22, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security announced new security protocols that will affect travelers whose itinerary includes direct travel from, or a transfer through these 10 airports to the United States:
- Queen Alia International Airiport (AMM) – Jordan
- Cairo international Airport (CAI) – Egypt
- Ataturk International Airport (IST) – Turkey
- King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED) – Saudi Arabia
- King Khalid International Airport (RUH) – Saudi Arabia
- Kuwait International Airport (KWI)
- Mohammed V. Airport (CMN) – Morocco
- Hamed International Airport (DOH) – Qatar
- Dubai International Airport (DXB) – United Arab Emirates
- Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) – United Arab Emirates
Travelers will need to adhere to more stringent security measures. Personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone (e.g., laptops, iPads, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players), excluding necessary medical devices, can no longer be carried aboard in carry-on items. They must be secured in checked luggage.
In addition, the United Kingdom has issued a similar set of restrictions for air transport routing through U.K. airports originating from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. Note that the list of countries is not the same, the U.K. restriction includes both Lebanon and Jordan while excluding others.
Travelers should keep updated on additional restrictions. Egypt has imposed a requirement that travelers on direct flights from the U.S. to Egypt will be subject to similar requirements. Based on security guidance there may be additional limitations imposed for transit through Canada, France and other countries. A list of airlines impacted by the dual restrictions are Royal Jordanian Airlines, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways , Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.
If you will be traveling with university owned devices or with university data on personal devices:
- Consider if electronic devices are necessary for the travel, and leave unnecessary devices behind,
- Remove all sensitive data and proprietary information from devices that is not pertinent to your travel,
- Encrypt devices, especially if you must take sensitive or proprietary data,
- Choose strict passwords for devices and online accounts,
- Back-up all data,
- Enable remote wiping capabilities,, in case your device is lost or stolen,
- Ensure that your devices remain fully charged in case you are required to enable them for inspection, and
- Have the device scanned by your department's IT staff or at the IT HelpDesk upon return to detect and remove any malicious spyware.
If you will be traveling with electronic devices that must be stored as checked luggage, plan for safe storage of your devices, including the use of TSA recognized locks for your checked baggage.
Jennifer Horn is the Director of Export and Security Compliance at Texas Tech University.
Dr. Jennifer K. Yucel is the Director of the Office of Research Compliance at the Ohio State University, who shared the travel tips and related information.