TSA to leave passengers powerless if devices will not switch on

Homeland Security in the US has ordered the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to enhance security checks on electronic devices at certain international airports.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced it is enhancing security measures at "certain airports overseas" by taking extra precaution when screening electronic devices.

The transportation officials has said in a statement that as part of the new procedures during security screening for flights to the United States, passengers may be asked to switch on their electronic devices, and will not be allowed to board their flight if the device is powerless.

US Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson said the new measures are just part of an ongoing process of assessing and re-evaluating the "global threat environment".

"I have directed TSA to implement enhanced security measures in the coming days at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States," he said in a statement.

"We will work to ensure these necessary steps pose as few disruptions to travelers as possible. We are sharing recent and relevant information with our foreign allies and are consulting the aviation industry. These communications are an important part of our commitment to providing our security partners with situational awareness about the current environment and protecting the traveling public.

"Aviation security includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by an evolving environment. As always, we will continue to adjust security measures to promote aviation security without unnecessary disruptions to the traveling public."

Travellers may also undergo additional screening, TSA said.

It is still unclear which international airports will be affected, however BBC confirmed that London's Heathrow will be one of them. 

ZDNet has contacted Sydney Airport, Melbourne Airport, and Brisbane Airport — all of which have direct flights to the United States — for comment.