The Transportation Security Administration announced this week that it will allow passengers to carry certain types of knives and a variety of sports equipment on U.S. airline flights.
The TSA said it established a committee to review the prohibited items list based on an overall risk-based security approach. After the review, TSA Administrator John S. Pistole made the decision to start allowing certain items back into carry-on luggage.
Banned because of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the TSA said the change in the prohibited items policy will be effective on April 25, 2013.
The knives that will be allowed in carry-on luggage must be no more than 2.36 inches, or 6 cm, from the tip of the blade to the hilt and the blade must be no more than 1/2 inch in width. The knife can’t have have a molded grip of have locking or fixed blades. Razors and box cutters are still prohibited.
Toy bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs will also be permitted in carry-on luggage.
Full-size baseball, softball and cricket bats are still prohibited.
A statement released by the TSA said that these changes are to align more closely with International Civil Aviation Organization standards and is TSA’s layered approach to security.
“This is part of an overall Risk-Based Security approach, which allows Transportation Security Officers to better focus their efforts on finding higher threat items such as explosives,” said a statement released by TSA.
Not everyone is happy about the future change. In a statement released by the Association of Flight Attendants that blasted the TSA for its decision, the Flight Attendance Union Coalition called the change a “poor and shortsighted decision by the TSA.”
The statements said that the changes will put the flight attendants and passengers in even more danger.
“Flight Attendants are the front line safety and security professionals on board every commercial passenger aircraft in this country and must be given the tools and training to protect ourselves, our passengers and the aircraft. Despite repeated requests for updated training to include basic self-defense maneuvers to allow us to defend ourselves, Flight Attendants still do not receive mandatory training about how to effectively recognize and defend others against attacks aboard the aircraft,” the statement said.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.