TSA Administrator John Pistole has announced that the agency is dropping plans to allow small knives and other items in carry-on luggage, USA Today reports.
Joseph J. Sitt, chairman of the Global Gateway Alliance, an organization advocating for improvements to New York City-area airports, applauded the decision, saying, "From any common sense perspective, this was the only decision to be made and we are delighted the TSA came to its senses. The confusion and inherent safety issues promised by this proposal risked everything from efficiency to lives.”
“We trust that moving forward the TSA will not distract themselves tinkering with good policies and instead concentrate on working with stakeholders to improve the checkpoint experience while maintaining maximum security."
The plan to allow small knives on planes had drawn widespread controversy from the travel industry. In a Travel Leaders survey released back in April, 73 percent of those polled said they were not in favor of allowing small pocket knives on planes.
Similarly, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) had called on the TSA for more consultation with industry stakeholders regarding the policy.
“However the new knife policy raises significant safety concerns for business travelers who make nearly 40 million business trips each month. 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," said GBTA Executive Director Michael W. McCormick.
The controversy over the knife rule was about more than just terrorism. Flight attendants had also argued that the knife rule could increase the potential for air rage, which, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), had risen 29 percent between 2009 and 2010 and 27 percent from the year before.