July 26 (UPI) -- The Transportation Security Administration announced Wednesday that it will require passengers to remove all electronics bigger than a cellphone, such as tablets and e-readers, from their carry-on bags due to an "increased threat to aviation security."
The electronics will have to be placed in a bin and put through an X-ray screener, similar to how laptops are currently handled. The TSA said it has been doing pilot testing of the increased screening at 10 airports across the country and will eventually expand to all U.S. airports in the coming months.
In addition, TSA said passengers could experience more bag checks when going through security, but said it has improved "screening procedures with quicker and more targeted measures to clear the bags."
"It is critical for TSA to constantly enhance and adjust security screening procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats and keep passengers safe," said TSA Acting Administrator Huban A. Gowadia. "By separating personal electronic items such as laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles for screening, TSA officers can more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats,"
TSA advises passengers to keep their electronics organized and easily accessible in their carry-on bags to keep lines moving.
The 10 airports where the new security measures are currently in use are:
-- Boise Airport (BOI)
-- Colorado Springs Airport (COS)
-- Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)
-- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
-- Logan International Airport (BOS)
-- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
-- Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport (LBB)
-- Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU)
-- McCarran International Airport (LAS)
-- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
The new security measures come one month after Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly announced he would push for more stringent security measures to be enforced in airports.
"Terrorists want to bring down aircraft to instill fear, disrupt our economies, and undermine our way of life," he said. "And it works -- which is why they still see aviation as the crown jewel target in their world."