Concern is growing within the public and numerous agencies over the TSA’s recent decision to begin allowing passengers to carry some kinds of small knives and other potentially threatening objects onto planes. “The charter, the mission of TSA is to stop an airplane from being used as a weapon and to stop catastrophic damage to that aircraft,” said TSA spokesman David Castelveter. “These small knives, these [souvenir] baseball bats, these sporting items aren’t going to contribute to bringing an airplane down.”
Among the protestors is the Flight Attendants Union Coalition, which announced it is coordinating a nationwide legislative campaign to reverse the decision. “Our nation’s aviation system is the safest in the world thanks to multilayered security measures that include prohibition on many items that could pose a threat to the integrity of the aircraft cabin,” the coalition said in a statement. “The continued ban on dangerous objects is an integral layer in aviation security and must remain in place.”
The new policy has aviation insurers worried as well. According to the International Air Transport Association, incidents of passenger-related disturbances are up, with an estimated 10,000-plus events annually.