Tighter security ordered for some U.S.-bound flights
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 0952 GMT (1752 HKT)
- NEW: UK government confirms it is stepping up aviation security measures
- Homeland Security imposing enhanced security measures at certain overseas airports
- Passengers could see added shoe inspections, closer explosives screening
- The steps are related to new intelligence on terror groups and bomb making
(CNN) -- The Obama administration is stepping up security for some flights headed to the United States from Europe and the Middle East, reflecting heightened concern that terrorists are developing more sophisticated bombs designed to avoid airport screening.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement that he has directed the Transportation Security Administration to "implement enhanced security measures in the coming days" at selected overseas airports.
"We will work to ensure these necessary steps pose as few disruptions to travelers as possible," Johnson said in a statement. "We are sharing recent and relevant information with our foreign allies and are consulting the aviation industry."
Specific steps or airports were not disclosed. A homeland security official said that TSA would work with airlines and security agencies overseas and that the changes will primarily focus on airports in Europe and the Middle East.
The effort does not involve changes to what travelers can take aboard flights. But passengers may see additional inspections of shoes and electronics, additional use of scanners designed to detect trace amounts of explosives, and another stage of screening at boarding gates, in some cases, the official said.
The measures do not involve U.S. domestic flights, and passengers could see changes as early as next week.
The changes came about based on new intelligence on terror groups trying to build new types of improvised explosives that are harder to detect, the official told CNN. There was no specific plot.
The UK Department for Transport confirmed Wednesday that it is stepping up some of its aviation security measures.
"For obvious reasons we will not be commenting in detail on those changes. The majority of passengers should not experience significant disruption," a spokesman said.
"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."
Since hardening cockpit doors and taking other measures after the 9/11 al Qaeda attacks, the U.S. aviation security focus has shifted primarily from hijackings to plastic and other explosives that can be carried aboard a plane or hidden in baggage.
The United States has particularly been focused on efforts by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to develop undetectable explosives since the unsuccessful attempt by the so-called "underwear bomber" to bring down a Delta Air Lines jet over Detroit in 2009.
CNN's Andrew Carey contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
August 19, 2014 -- Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT)
Airlines and airports are going high-tech to reduce your time in line.
August 26, 2014 -- Updated 0115 GMT (0915 HKT)
Ever wondered what it takes to get that movie to your inflight screen? This special report details who, what and how much it takes to bring you the best in IFE (we'll explain).
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Takeoff on one of Airbus' new A350WXB test planes is a strangely quiet experience.
August 12, 2014 -- Updated 0906 GMT (1706 HKT)
Cars, craft beer, yetis? Since when did in-flight purchases get so strange?
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1426 GMT (2226 HKT)
CNN takes a look at the new car-plane hybrid that brings affordable recreational air travel to the masses.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 0339 GMT (1139 HKT)
It is the world's busiest route and there are few lengths airlines won't go to in the hopes of getting a piece of the action.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 2136 GMT (0536 HKT)
Cathay Pacific was pronounced the world's best airliner of the year at the industry's leading awards ceremony in Farnborough on Tuesday.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 0221 GMT (1021 HKT)
It's not some miserable dystopic movie scene about class polarization, it's a real thing that could arrive soon.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
Latest model of aircraft affectionately known as the Queen of the Skies gets the red ribbon treatment, but jumbo jets are facing tough times
June 12, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
Aviation industry execs say they must focus more on customer experience.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1559 GMT (2359 HKT)
Could air passengers of the future could board planes via personal transport pods?
June 24, 2014 -- Updated 1723 GMT (0123 HKT)
A passenger is suing an airline for flying him to the wrong continent, and other surprisingly common destination mix-ups.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1657 GMT (0057 HKT)
Dreading airport security, lost luggage or that middle seat? These travel headaches could be a thing of the past by 2024, according to a new report on the future of travel.
June 24, 2014 -- Updated 0800 GMT (1600 HKT)
Fancy stripping off before a flight and getting sweaty with fellow passengers? Finnair think you might and is backing its idea with a sauna in its new airport lounge.
July 14, 2014 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
This month, a young aviatrix will honor the woman she was named after by flying the same route made legendary in 1937.
Today's five most popular stories