The Transportation Security Administration is postponing letting passengers carry small knives back aboard airline flights. Bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment that was set to be permitted under the new rule, will also stay banned, for now.
In a letter to TSA employees, TSA chief John Pistole said he decided to maintain, at least temporarily, the ban on knives on planes after a meeting Monday with an aviation security panel. The changes were scheduled to take effect Thursday.
After meeting with a panel of aviation experts, he said, “so we can incorporate their input and to continue training requirements nationwide, I have decided to temporarily delay implementing the prohibited items changes.”
It has not decided a new implementation date.
The move comes after the planned policy change faced strong opposition from flight attendants, its own air marshals, and some politicians.
“This timing will enable TSA to incorporate the feedback about the changes to the Prohibited Items List and continue workforce training,” TSA said in a statement.
The changes, announced last month, would have allowed passengers to carry folding knives with blades 2.36 inches or shorter and less than half an inch wide, as well as pool cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks, golf clubs and novelty-size bats.
Until further notice, the items remained banned from the cabin of commercial planes.
Pistole had made the policy change March 5, saying that airport security screeners needed to concentrate on greater risks to air travel. The change also would have matched international policy and came as other potential weapons, such as scissors and knitting needles, have been allowed on planes since 2005.