Ever since the terrorist attacks on September, 11, 2001 the way you travel by plane has forever changed, at least here in the United States. There has been tighter security in airports throughout the nation and rightfully so, while also having more advanced or detail screening of passengers boarding planes. Items you can carry onto the plane has been very limited in the past decade, but the Transportation Security Administration(TSA) looks to be loosening the limitations as you can now bring on a small pocket knife.
TSA chief John Pistole announced in a security meeting in New York on Tuesday that travelers will be able to bring small knives, golf clubs and hockey sticks into airline cabins. This will mark the first time that the TSA has loosened its grip on restricted carry-on items since Sept. 11, 2001; however Razor blades and box cutters are still being prohibited.
One of the main reasons for the change is to conform to international rules, and to highlight the importance of risk-based screening.
“With attention to detail on screening we can focus on the biggest threats to aircraft rather than holding everyone to the same security standard,” Pistole said.
The decision could also be to match the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Besides starting to allow small knives on board travelers can also bring Billiard cues, ski poles, hockey and lacrosse sticks according to USA Today.
The TSA announcement however did not sit well with the 90,000 members of the Flight Attendants Union Coalition as the voiced out their frustration on the announcement.
“Today’s announcement to permit knives back into the aircraft cabin is a poor and shortsighted decision by the TSA. As the last line of defense in the cabin and key aviation partners, we believe that these proposed changes will further endanger the lives of all flight attendants and the passengers we work so hard to keep safe and secure,” The FAUC said in a statement.
Other people like Stacy Martin, president of Southwest Airlines’ flight-attendants union mentioned that her union agrees that a passenger wielding a small knife or swinging a golf club or hockey stick poses less of a threat to the pilot locked in the cockpit. She went on to mention though that these are still real threats to passengers and flight attendants in the passenger cabin.
On the other side of the perspective, the TSA issued a few statements themselves on why they decided to make this change. “One of the main reasons for this decision is to focus on things that could present catastrophic damage to the aircraft,” David Castelveter, a TSA spokesman said.
To back what David mentioned in his statement, the organization also stated that the decision was made as part of an overall risk-based security approach, allowing transportation security officers to better focus their efforts on finding higher-threat items such as explosives on the aircraft. The TSA also mentioned that the cockpit doors are more impermeable than ever before.
Expect to see these changes take effect starting April, 25, 2013.
TSA lifts ban on small items
TSA Lifts Ban on Pocket Knives on Planes
TSA Lifts Ban on Pocket Knives on Planes. Passengers will now be allowed small pocket knives measuring up to 3 to 4 inches long. Still not allowed are box cutters. The airport security wants to concentrate on explosives particularly liquid explosives. The flight attendants are outraged over the lifting of the ban.
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