U.S. Has Implemented Additional Aviation Security Measures
While the facts and circumstances surrounding the tragic October 31 crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 on the Sinai Peninsula are still under investigation, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Transportation Security Administrator Peter Neffenger have identified a series of interim, precautionary enhancements to aviation security with respect to commercial flights bound for the United States from certain foreign airports in the Middle East.
“These enhancements are designed to provide an additional layer of security for the traveling public, and will be undertaken in consultation with relevant foreign governments and relevant passenger and cargo airlines,” said Johnson, in a statement. “These enhancements will supplement U.S. aviation security requirements currently in place at all of foreign last-point-of-departure airports, as well as the additional security enhancements I directed last summer at certain foreign locations. Many of those enhancements have also been adopted by our European allies.”
The enhancements identified by Johnson include expanded screening applied to items on aircraft; additional airport assessments; and U.S. offers of assistance to certain foreign airports related to aviation and airport security.
“At this time these security enhancements are intended only for certain foreign airports in the region,” said Johnson.
Johnson declined to provide any further details of the aviation security measures.
“We will continually assess our aviation security enhancements, and consider whether additional changes are appropriate,” he added.
There are no direct commercial air flights from Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, the airport of origin of the doomed Metrojet flight, to the United States.