Cody, WY (April 24, 2013) – The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced yesterday that it was delaying the plan to allow passengers to carry pocket knives, hockey sticks and golf clubs aboard airplanes that was to be implement tomorrow April 25th.
This decision was not unexpected for several reasons, but primarily because the proposed changes were confusing to the public due to the term “molded grip” and other questions and the time needed to refine the policy, implementation procedures and train TSA personnel. The American Knife & Tool Institute (AKTI) continues to offer technical expertise to the TSA and any assistance possible. Read about AKTI working with TSA.
With terrorism prominently in the news, the push back to the policy change has gained additional momentum. See Push Back to Pocket Knives on Airlines. The opposition from flight attendants and others in the airline industry has grown louder even though small scissors with 4″ blades, screw drivers and knitting needles have been allowed through U.S. security since 2005 – without incident. Plus other countries have allowed pocket knives since 2010.
Recent terrorism only points out even greater the need for TSA to not be distracted from their job to make sure that no one blows up a plane or intentionally crashes one into a building again. Spending time and attention on incidents of screening for small prohibited items means less time looking for what really is important – explosives, including evolving new nonmetallic explosives.
Objectors to the new policy regarding allowing knives on airlines like to point out that the Sept. 11 hijackers used box cutters to gain control of the planes they brought down. But things have changed significantly since then with locked and reinforced cockpit doors, expanded Federal Air Marshal service, and a flying public who will disarm potential problem makers.
With deficit issues, budget cuts and sequester, it is critical that important TSA resources are properly directed. TSA needs to focus on identifying dangerous people, not maintaining a list of banned items that are used as essential tools every day by law-abiding people.
Removing pocket knives from the prohibited items list will be a step in the right direction, be consistent with international aviation guidelines, and a delay to get it done correctly is a reasonable thing to expect.
CALL TO ACTION – Contact your federal legislators and tell them to support the TSA’s efforts to make sensible policies and allow them to do their job!
The American Knife & Tool Institute recommends travelers exercise caution when traveling with your knife. It would be best to error on the safe side and put your knife in your checked baggage. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items, or persons for that matter, on the plane. Also, please note that some knives are illegal in certain states and passengers will be subject to state law. It is a passenger’s responsibility to be aware that origination and destination cities may have local laws prohibiting the possession of certain types of knives (whether you have carried it onboard or have it in your checked luggage).