UPDATED WEDNESDAY 9 JULY: Photographers travelling from the UK to the US would be wise to ensure their cameras and camera-phones are fully charged before boarding a flight, as new security measures come into force.

The USA’s Transportation Security

Administration says travellers may be asked to ‘power up’ some electronic

devices, including mobile phones, before boarding direct flights to the US

[NEWS UPDATE WEDNESDAY 9 JULY]

The UK’s Department of Transport has extended the scope of the policy to some routes, both to and from the UK.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: ‘Passengers on some routes may also be required to show that electronic devices in their hand luggage can be powered up or face not being allowed to bring the device onto the aircraft.

‘Passengers are therefore advised to make sure electronic devices being carried in their hand luggage are charged before they travel.’

A Department for Transport spokesman today refused to say whether passengers should expect that their cameras may be checked at the airport.

However, ‘cameras and camera equipment’ are included in the Department for Transport’s definition of ‘electrical devices’ that are allowed in hand luggage, in a list published on its website.

British Airways statement:

‘Customers may be asked to turn on any

electronic or battery powered devices such as telephones, tablets, e-books and

laptops in front of security teams and/or demonstrate the item’s functionality.

‘If, when asked to do so, you are unable to

demonstrate that your device has power, you will not be allowed to fly on your

planned service.’

Though BA does not mention ‘cameras’ among

the devices its customers may be asked to switch on, a BA spokesman

agreed it would sensible for passengers to ensure their cameras are charged

before travelling to the US.

BA says the new regulations, published on

the airline’s website, were drawn from advice it received from the

Transportation Security Administration in the US, which refers to ‘electronic

devices’.

[original article, dated 7 July, continues

from here]

Yesterday,

the US-based Transportation Security Administration (TSA) updated its security

advice affecting ‘certain overseas airports’.

In

a statement,

dated 6 July, the TSA said: ‘As the travelling public knows, all electronic

devices are screened by security officers.

‘During

the security examination, officers may also ask that owners power up some

devices, including cell phones.

‘Powerless

devices will not be permitted on board the aircraft.

‘The

traveller will also undergo additional screening.’

It

is not clear, however, whether such devices include digital cameras.

A

spokesman for the UK’s Department for Transport would not be drawn on whether

cameras fall under the definition of ‘electronic devices’, saying that the

interpretation was ‘up to you’.

‘The

advice is the advice,’ the spokesman told Amateur

Photographer
.

Heathrow

is among the airports where security screening has been intensified, according

to the BBC.

Earlier

today, Heathrow Airport declined to comment on the new security measures when

contacted by Amateur Photographer,

referring us to the Department for Transport.

Heathrow

Airport has since posted this message

on its website: ‘If you are flying to the US please make sure any of your

electronic devices are charged before you travel.

‘If

your device does not switch on you may not be allowed to bring it onto the

aircraft.’

Last

week, the Department for Transport said that most airline passengers ‘should

not experience significant disruption’, and that there was no change to the

threat level, which remains at substantial.

In

a statement,

dated 2 July, it added: ‘The safety and security of the public is our paramount

concern.

‘The

UK has some of the most robust aviation security measures and we will continue

to take all the steps necessary to ensure that public safety is maintained.’

The

Department for Transport said it would not be commenting on the detail of the

changes.