US to allow small knives to be carried on flights

US airline passengers will be able to carry small knives on planes.

The Transportation Security Administration said travellers can soon bring small pocket knives on board airplanes for the first time since the Sept 11 attacks, sparking outrage from flight attendants who said the decision would endanger passengers and crew.

The TSA said that effective from Apr 25, it would allow knives with blades that are 2.36 inches or less in length and less than ½ inch wide. Other items that will be allowed on board again include billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks and lacrosse sticks.

Items that had been prohibited like razors, box cutters or knives with a fixed blade are still not allowed on board. TSA spokesman David Castelveter said the decision was made to bring US regulations more in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation standards and would also help provide a better experience for travellers. The Flight Attendants Union Coalition, which represents nearly 90,000 flight attendants from carriers across the country, called it a “poor and shortsighted decision”.

“As the last line of defence in the cabin and key aviation partners, we believe these proposed changes will further endanger the lives of all flight attendants and the passengers,” the coalition said in a statement.


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