WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the face of a huge backlash from Flight Attendants, nearly every other stakeholder in aviation and the public, the Transportation Security Administration today postponed its plan to allow knives on US flights starting Thursday, April 25. But the 90,000-member Flight Attendants Union Coalition, which has opposed the TSA’s ill-advised plan from the start, remains resolute: No Knives on Planes Ever Again.
The United States has banned all knives from commercial flights since the September 11, 2001, attacks for good reason: Knives were the terrorists’ weapons of choice in bringing down four jetliners and murdering thousands of Americans. All knives should be banned from planes permanently. If the TSA wishes to explore a drastic departure from this logical, 11-year-old policy, it must comply with the rule-making requirements that it should have observed when it first announced its decision to allow knives on planes on March 5.
Like any agency, before TSA changes a rule it is legally required to issue a notice of rule-making, to allow all interested parties the opportunity to submit comments, and to fairly consider that input. If those procedures are followed, we have no doubt that the Administrator will conclude that knives have no place on our planes and will leave the rule barring “weapons” in place.
The Coalition is working diligently with members of Congress – Congressmen Ed Markey (D-MA) and Michael Grimm (R-NY) as well as Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) — on legislation to permanently keep knives off planes. We thank these sponsors for their support on this critical security issue and urge Congress to act swiftly. In the wake of the horrific and as-yet-unsolved Boston terrorist bombing last week, now is not the time to weaken security and let down our guard.