Three months after announcing that airline passengers would soon be allowed to bring small knives onto their flights, the Transportation Security Administration has scrapped the plan.
John Pistole, head of the TSA, told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the agency would no longer be implementing the change, though he didn't explain what led to the turnaround.
The proposed changes to the banned-items list would have allowed passengers to carry onto planes knives up to 2.36 inches long and a half-inch wide, as well as baseball bats, golf clubs, and other sporting equipment. The proposal sparked an immediate outcry from airworkers' unions and lawmakers over concerns that the items could easily be used to attack flight crews and other passengers.
Pistole pushed back against those concerns in a congressional hearing in late March, insisting that pocket knives were no threat to airplane security.
"With hardened cockpit doors, better identification of individual passengers against terrorist watch lists, other security changes, and the demonstrated willingness of passengers to intervene to assist flight crew during a security incident, it is the judgment of many security experts worldwide, which I agree with, a small pocket knife is simply not going to result in the catastrophic failure of an aircraft," he said. "An improvised explosive device will."
Still, 145 House members and airline executives sent a letter to the TSA urging it to reconsider the change. And in April, three days before the new policy was to go into effect, the agency postponed the new rules.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Russia's giant spy ship was a high-tech disaster waiting to happen
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- How to stop misogynists from terrorizing the world of gamers
- How Harry Houdini escaped death
- On ISIS, neocons and liberal hawks have a 'boy who cried wolf' problem
- 10 things you need to know today: September 2, 2014
Subscribe to the Week