Quantcast
Latest Stories

Backlash over move to allow knives back on US planes


Travelers will be able to carry small knives with folding blades on US planes. AP

WASHINGTON – A decision to scrap a post-9/11 ban on pocket knives being carried by passengers on US aircraft has triggered an angry backlash from pilots, flight attendants and airline chiefs.

Starting from April 25, travelers will be able to carry small knives with folding blades on US planes following a shift in security strategy by the federal Transportation Security Administration.

TSA chief John Pistole said the new guidelines would bring US security regulations into line with international standards and were designed to help airport staff find more dangerous items such as explosives.

“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,” Pistole said this week.

The shift comes against the backdrop of the US sequester crisis that has seen dramatic budget cuts force federal agencies to look at different ways of reducing costs.

The TSA has already frozen its hiring policy and eliminated overtime with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warning the sequester cuts could lead to a doubling of queues and wait times.

While box cutters of the kind used by hijackers in the September 11, 2001 attacks remain banned, the TSA’s decision to relax the rules on pocket knives has appalled airline officials and staff.

“These items have been banned for more than 11 years and will add little value to the customer security process flow in relation to the additional risk for our cabin staff and customers,” Delta Air Lines chief executive Richard Anderson wrote in a letter to the TSA.

“If the purpose is to increase security checkpoint flow, there are much more effective steps we can take together to streamline the security checkpoints with risk-based screening mechanisms.”

The Flight Attendants Union Coalition, which represents some 90,000 workers, said its members were “outraged.”

“The continued ban on dangerous objects is an integral layer in aviation security and must remain in place,” the group said.

A nationwide petition against the TSA changes lodged on the White House website had garnered 15,000 signatures by Saturday.

The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations has also spoken out against the move.

“We believe the threat is still real and the removal of any layer of security will put crewmembers and the flying public unnecessarily in harm’s way,” CAPA president Mike Karn warned.

Andrew Thomas, an aviation security expert at the University of Akron, said their was logic behind the TSA’s change in strategy.

“Simply put, if they are not looking for so many items, they will not need as many people working at the checkpoints,” he said.

“TSA is announcing very subtly here that they are slowly changing their strategic focus from keeping bad things off of to planes to keeping bad people away. For this, they should be applauded.”

But terrorism expert JM Berger was sharply critical of the rule change.

“TSA continues to make people take off their shoes before entering the gate at an airport even though there has never been a single fatality from a shoe bomb on an airplane,” Berger said.

“In contrast, terrorists armed only with small blades killed almost 3,000 people in a single day in 2001.”

The furor has also proved irresistible to satirical media outlet The Onion, which commented in a spoof report that the TSA “will henceforth allow small terrorists on commercial aircraft.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 9/11 , airplanes , Knives , Security , United States , US Aircrafts




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
Advertisement

News

  • Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  • Drilon, Nancy Binay urge Filipinos to strengthen faith
  • ‘Yolanda’ toll now at 6,300 – NDRRMC
  • ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  • Moderate earthquake jolts southern Iran
  • Sports

  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • Business

  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Technology

  • Netizens seething in anger over Aquino ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement