CNN reports that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is delaying implementation of the new rule allowing passengers to carry small knives on planes. The move comes just three days before the new rule was to take effect.
The TSA tells CNN that the delay is to consider input from an advisory committee.
The new rule had drawn widespread criticism from the industry. Most recently, a survey from Travel Leaders Group that polled 1,788 U.S. consumers had found overwhelming opposition to the new rule. 73 percent of those polled said they were not in favor of allowing pocket knives on planes.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) had urged the TSA to delay implementation of the rule in order for more consultation with travel industry stakeholders to take place.
“The new knife policy raises significant safety concerns for business travelers who make nearly 40 million business trips each month,” Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO, had said at the time. “In addition, although risk-based security measures should facilitate passenger screening, many are questioning whether the new policy will slow down, rather than speed up, checkpoint screening.”
The Consumer Travel Alliance (CTA) questioned the timing and explanation of the move. While the CTA had been pressing the TSA to make changes to its forbidden items list, the group said, “At most, [these rules] are baby steps in the right direction. To some, they are a breach of personal security. This action without any explanation of its philosophy, rationale or significant benefits is generating more protests than plaudits.”
The new rule had also drawn criticism from flight attendants. In an op-ed released on CNN, flight attendant Tiffany Hawk had noted that, while new security features such as fortified cockpit doors could prevent a hijacker from taking over the plane, they would do nothing to keep the passengers or crew trapped in the cabin safe.
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