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Feds delay policy to allow small knives on planes

Published: Tue, April 23, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press


Airline passengers will have to leave their knives at home after all. And their bats and golf clubs.

A policy change scheduled to go into effect this week that would have allowed passengers to carry small knives, bats and other sports equipment onto airliners will be delayed, federal officials said Monday.

The delay is necessary to accommodate feedback from an advisory committee made up of aviation industry, consumer and law- enforcement officials, the Transportation Security Administration said in a brief statement. The statement said the delay is temporary but gave no indication how long it might be.

TSA Administrator John Pistole proposed the policy change last month, saying it would free up the agency to concentrate on protecting against greater threats. TSA screeners confiscate about 2,000 small folding knives from passengers every day.

The proposal immediately drew fierce opposition from flight-attendant unions and federal air marshals, who said the knives can be dangerous in the hands of the wrong passengers. Some airlines and members of Congress also urged TSA to reconsider its position.

The delay announced by TSA doesn’t go far enough, a coalition of unions representing 90,000 flight attendants nationwide said Monday.

“All knives should be banned from planes permanently,” the group said in a statement.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who opposed the policy, said TSA’s decision is an admission “that permitting knives on planes is a bad idea.” He also called for a permanent ban.


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