Photo: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will allow small pocket knives, golf clubs, and hockey sticks back onto passenger planes for the first time since the 9/11 attacks, according to a report from Bloomberg.At an aviation security conference, TSA administrator John Pistole said the change is to conform with international rules, and stressed the usage of intelligence and “risk-based” security.
“Frankly, I don’t want TSA agents to be delayed by these,” Pistole said.
The agency will permit knives with retractable blades shorter than 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) and narrower than 1/2 inch at the widest point. The TSA will also grant new exceptions to its ban on baseball and softball bats, allowing passengers to board with souvenir bats less than 24 inches long and lightweight plastic bats even if they’re more than 2 feet long.
But the changes, set to go into effect on April 25, are not without controversy.
The President of Southwest Airlines’ Flight Attendants Union, TWU Local 556, came out strongly against the move in a statement to Fox News.
“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,” said Stacy K. Martin.
Box cutters, like those used by the Sept. 11 terrorists, and razor blades will still be banned.
The TSA released these graphics explaining what was deemed safe for air travel, and what was not:
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