By Glenn Pew, Contributing Editor, Video Editor
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, terrorists stabbed individuals while hijacking a jet that would later crash into the World Trade Center's North Tower, and on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, the TSA announced certain knives banned after 2001 would again be permitted on airliners. TSA Administrator John Pistole said the new rules would be put in place on U.S. planes beginning April 25. According to Pistole, permitted items will include foldable non-locking or fixed blades without a molded grip, provided their blades are no wider than 1/2 inch and no longer than 2.36 inches. Box cutters and razor blades will still be prohibited. Representatives of the federal air marshal and flight attendant communities have voiced objections to the announced changes.
"Flight attendants are going to be sitting ducks," George Taylor, head of the air marshal unit of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, told CNN. Stacy Martin, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 556, a union that represents 10,000 flight attendants, told NJ.com the decision, "is a threat to passengers and affront to flight attendants." According to Pistole, the new rules are intended to allow security screeners in the airport to focus on finding potential explosives and other devices that could lead to an immediate catastrophic event on an aircraft. Along with small knives, passengers will be allowed by the TSA to board with lacrosse or hockey sticks, pool cues, golf clubs and other items provided they meet certain weight and length criteria. Airlines can impose their own restrictions. Multiple U.S. airlines have for years included metal cutlery with meals served onboard their aircraft while flying in the U.S.