TSA's new policy has everyone talking

March 11, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Transportation Security Administration says allowing small knives and certain kinds of sporting equipment on planes will bring the country in line with international standards. The new policy has everyone talking- and it's turning into quite a debate.

Retired airline pilot Larry Bonnet says the items that will now be allowed on planes- can do "a lot of damage". He said, "It concerns me. Deeply concerns me. Baseball bat and golf clubs."

After 20 years as a commercial pilot for US Airways, Bonnet admits he's seen a lot of things on planes. He says he understands the importance of aligning the United States with international standards, but he's worried about flight attendants and the crew on board when the policy goes into effect this April.

The TSA released this statement: "Through TSA's layered approach to security, and to align more closely with International Civil Aviation Organization standards, effective April 25, 2013 TSA will allow knives that do not lock, and have blades that are 2.36 inches or 6 centimeters or less in length and are less than 1/2 inch in width, novelty-sized and toy bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs as part of their carry-on baggage. This is part of an overall Risk-Based Security approach, which allows Transportation Security Officers to better focus their efforts on finding higher threat items such as explosives."

Airline passenger Gabriel Torres says, the new policy is concerning for general travelers. "You're still going to have issues with safety. They've gotta understand the passenger safety is just as important as somebody taking over a whole plane." Others say they've got mixed feelings, and that passengers could have another tool on hand should something bad happen in flight.

The flight attendants union launched a national petition to keep knives off planes. More than 23 thousand people had signed it on Monday night.

The head of the Transportation Security Administration is expected to defend his decision Thursday at a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee.


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