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
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- What if Leo Strauss was right?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Feast your eyes on this beautiful linguistic family tree
Subscribe to the Week