The Transportation Safety Administration is apparently walking back plans to allow passengers to carry small penknives on planes. USA Today reports that TSA administrator John Pistole does not intend to allow the knives on planes later this week, as planned.
“This timing will enable TSA to incorporate the feedback about the changes to the Prohibited Items List and continue workforce training,” the TSA said in a statement.
The TSA had planned to let the knives, with blades up to 2.36 inches, on flights starting Thursday. It would have been the first time they would have been back on passenger planes since Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists armed with box cutters hijacked four jetliners.
The decision to allow small knives on planes had been under protest by flight attendant unions, and wasn’t well-received by air marshals either. Whether or not the decision is directly related to the recent bombing apparently wasn’t stated officially. However, it was a consideration for at least one person in the industry.
“In the wake of the terrorist bombing in Boston last week … now is not the time to weaken transportation security,” said Sara Nelson, international vice president of the Association of Flight Attendants. “Flight attendants are breathing a sigh of relief that the weapons that led to the deadliest attack on U.S. soil in our nation’s history will not be allowed in the aircraft cabin this week.”
Pistole made the policy change on March 5th. Whether or not it will be reinstated remains to be seen.