Threat Level Change for the Aviation Sector
In response to a serious terrorist threat to international aviation security, the Secretary of Homeland Security has elevated the Homeland Security Advisory System Threat Condition to Severe, or Red, for all commercial flights from the United Kingdom to the United States, and to High, or Orange, for all other international flights and all domestic commercial aviation.
There are approximately 106 flights per day between the United Kingdom and the United States. Although numerous arrests have been made in the U.K. to disrupt and neutralize this threat, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking a number of heightened protective measures to ensure the continued safety and security of our international and domestic air travel.
Protecting the Aviation System. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be implementing a series of security measures – some visible and some not visible – to ensure the security of the traveling public and the Nation's transportation system. TSA is immediately implementing following changes to airport screening procedures:
NO LIQUIDS OR GELS OF ANY KIND WILL BE PERMITTED IN CARRY-ON BAGGAGE. ITEMS MUST BE IN CHECKED BAGGAGE. This includes all beverages, shampoo, suntan lotion, creams, tooth paste, hair gel, and other items of similar consistency.
Exception: Baby formula, breast milk, or juice if a baby or small child is traveling; prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger’s ticket; and insulin and essential other non-prescription medicines
- Beverages purchased in the sterile area must be consumed before boarding because they will not be permitted onboard the aircraft.
- Passengers traveling from the U.K. to the U.S. will be subject to a more extensive screening process.
Some measures will not be visible to the public. In light of the elevated threat level, the Federal Air Marshals Service (FAMS) will provide expanded mission coverage for flights from the United Kingdom to the United States.
These measures will be constantly evaluated and updated when circumstances warrant. DHS and its components have coordinated closely with the air carrier industry, airports, and state and local stakeholders to implement these significant, but necessary, security measures. The traveling public can assist these agencies in carrying out their important security duties by:
- Packing lightly, without clutter to facilitate easier screening.
- Check with your air carrier well before your flight departs for information on when you should arrive at the airport.
- Cooperating with TSA personnel at all checkpoints and gates because TSA Security Officers will be checking carry-on baggage at the gate.
- Being attentive and vigilant to any suspicious activity.
Protecting U.S. Borders. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will increase enforcement efforts in international arrival areas including the use of advanced targeting tools, special response teams including baggage and aircraft search teams, baggage x-ray equipment, specially-trained canine units, and explosive detection technology.
DHS has also mandated that all flights from the U.K. transmit passenger manifest information for intensive screening prior to departure from the gate. In addition, passengers on these flights and all other international flights will be subject to heightened inspection upon arrival in the U.S.