The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) revealed a carry-on rules change today that will soon allow passengers to bring small knives onto planes for the first time since September 11, 2001. The TSA will start enforcing the new rules on April 25.
The TSA considers a small knife to be one that is less than 2.36 inches long and less than half an inch wide. Knives that do not fit within these measurements, as well as knives with locking blades and molding handles, will continue to be barred. Razor blades and box cutters will continue to be prohibited regardless of their size.
Passengers will also be able to carry-on certain sports items such as golf clubs, hockey sticks, and pool cues. Ski poles and lacrosse sticks will also be permitted.
The TSA states that these items pose a limited threat to airplane pilots that are now protected by hardened cockpit doors, armed federal air marshals, and their own firearms. The new carry-on rules will allow the agency to focus on threats that could cause potentially catastrophic damage to an aircraft. The change has been criticized by flight attendants.
“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,” Stacy K. Martin, president of Southwest Airlines’ flight attendants union, said in The LA Times.
The TSA states that these changes will help align the prohibited items on US flights with those of international carriers, and the agency hopes that the new carry-on rules will help cut down on the time passengers spend going through security.
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