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Enhanced security begins today for U.S.-bound flights

Westjet aircraft are pictured at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on May 26, 2016.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Flying to the United States may take a while longer as of today due to enhanced security measures affecting flights to the U.S.

Both Air Canada and WestJet are advising passengers to arrive at airports at least two hours prior to scheduled departures to allow for additional screening.

Air Canada says in an advisory that heightened security introduced by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security beginning today requires enhanced screening of personal electronic devices such as tablets and laptops.

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In addition, all personal electronic devices larger than a smartphone will need to be easily accessible and have all cases and covers removed.

Related: Transport Minister enhances airport security but no laptop ban

WestJet has posted similar advice, adding the recommendation applies to all flights departing Canada.

The Dept. of Homeland Security said last month that "in light of evaluated intelligence," it was deemed necessary to implement enhanced security measures for all commercial flights to the United States.

It said these measures would include enhanced overall passenger screening, increased security around aircraft and in passenger areas, the use of advanced technology, and expanded canine screening.

"The United States and the global aviation community face an adaptive and agile enemy," said the DHS on its website.

"Terrorist groups continue to target passenger aircraft, and we have seen a spider web of threats to commercial aviation as terrorist pursue new attack methods."

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