TSA abandons relaxation of security restrictions

Written by: 
Jennifer Herrera~Multimedia Jounralist

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) became very strict after the 9/11 attacks, about “threat” items taken onto airplanes as carry-on items. However, TSA was considered in March making changes to allow small knives and some previously prohibited sports equipment onto airplanes.

But in June “the TSA abandoned plans to allow small knives and certain other banned items back on passenger flights, surrendering to fierce criticism from airlines, unions and Congress,” says a CNN Travel article

“In a statement, the TSA said it would continue to enforce the ‘current prohibited items list,’ which does not permit small knives. The TSA first announced the plan to allow small knives and sporting equipment in March, saying doing so would permit airport screeners extra time to focus on more dangerous objects like bombs and related components.”

According to an NBC article written in March, the relaxed security measure were to take effect April 25. “Passengers will be able to carry-on knives that are less than 2.36 inches long and less than one-half inch wide. Larger knives, and those with locking blades and molding handles, will continue to be prohibited, as will razor blades and box cutters,” it says.

“All TSA is doing is catching up with the rest of the world,” said Douglas R. Laird, president of aviation consulting firm Laird & Associates and former head of security for Northwest Airlines. After 9/11 the TSA “overreacted,” said Laird, and put restrictions in place in the heat of the moment that exceeded those in other countries”, wrote Baskas.

The main focus was to find “higher threat items” such as explosives, pitchforks, grenades, swords, nun chucks, stun guns, ammo and spears, guns that are not checked, registered, and locked travel case as required by law.

“I think they are becoming less and less strict when it comes to that. In my opinion it is better if they allow knives to be carried by passengers, it is better not as carry-on, but they should check it in… one reason is for personal… like if they buy knives as souvenirs from other countries. There could also be business purposes,” said Andy Ibarra De la Cruz, a senior in math from the Philippines.

Allowing small knives and some sport equipment to pass security inspection is for the purpose of improving checkpoint travel experience and efficiency.

“After 9/11, I don't think that it would be the smartest idea to let them through security. I mean, in extreme cases if you had to cut your buckle free that's understandable, but... probably not because people can harm others or put others in danger. You just don't know how people will react these days, or what their intentions are,” said Kai Fetzer, an alumni from Utah.