UK & World News
TSA Will Soon Allow Some Knives On US Flights
Small knives, golf clubs and other sports equipment will soon be off the list of items banned from US aircraft.
The Transportation Safety Administration announced on Tuesday it would begin allowing those items to be packed in carry-on luggage starting in April
The new policy brings US laws in line with international standards. It will let the TSA focus its energy on more serious safety threats, administrator John Pistole said in a statement.
The full list of the un-banned carry-on items includes: knives no more than 6cm long and one-half inch wide; novelty-sized and toy baseball bats; billiard cues; ski poles; hockey and lacrosse sticks; and up to two golf clubs.
The change has already angered unions representing flight attendants and other airline workers.
They said those items still pose a serious threat to their members.
Transport Workers Union Local 556, representing around 10,000 Southwest Airlines flight attendants, said the new policy is designed to make "the lives of TSA staff easier, but not make flights safer".
"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," the union said in a statement.
TSA Spokesman David Castelveter said gun-carrying pilots, federal air marshals and airline crew members trained in self-defence can all protect against possible misuse of these items.
The past decade has seen some easing of the security measures prompted by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
In 2005, the TSA changed its policies to allow passengers to carry small scissors, knitting needles, tweezers, nail clippers and up to four books of matches.
And in September 2011, the TSA stopped requiring children under 12 to remove their shoes at airport checkpoints.
The agency recently said travellers aged 75 and older do not have to remove shoes or light jackets when they go through security.
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