(Reuters) – The Transportation Security Administration said on Tuesday that travelers can soon bring small pocket knives on board airplanes for the first time since the September 11 attacks, sparking outrage from flight attendants who said the decision would endanger passengers and crew.
The TSA said that effective April 25, it would allow knives with blades that are 2.36 inches or less in length and less than 1/2 inch wide. Other items that will be allowed on board again as part of a passenger’s carry-on luggage 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 U.S. regulations more in line with International Civil Aviation Organization standards and would also help provide a better experience for travelers.
“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,” he said.
The Flight Attendants Union Coalition, which represents nearly 90,000 flight attendants from carriers across the country, called it a “poor and shortsighted decision” by the TSA.