Remember when you were a youngster and your dad let you have a pocket knife for the first time, or your teacher let you use the scissors without the blade guards? Well, it’s kind of like that.
The Transportation Security Administration announced Tuesday that it has changed its list of prohibited items for air travel. In a statement, TSA officials said it will begin allowing small knives and a handful of other items on flights again:
Through TSA’s layered approach to security, and to align more closely with International Civil Aviation Organization standards, effective April 25, 2013 TSA will allow knives that do not lock, and have blades that are 2.36 inches or 6 centimeters or less in length and are less than 1/2 inch in width, novelty-sized and toy bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs as part of their carry-on baggage. 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.
“Frankly, I don’t want TSA agents to be delayed by these,” TSA Administrator John Pistole said of the changes.
The official said the items were going to be allowed back on board as the result of a TSA “overall risk-based security approach” and because flight safety regulations of certain European countries already allow the items.
While many American flyers are undoubtedly pleased that they will no longer be hassled over items that appear less than lethal, some people criticized the move.
Stacy Martin, president of Southwest Airlines’ Flight Attendants Union, TWU Local 556, said in a statement: “While we agree 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, these are real threats to passengers and flight attendants in the passenger cabin.”
She called for the decision to be immediately reversed.