TSA changes outrage flight staff
Posted at: 03/07/2013 4:50 PM
| Updated at: 03/07/2013 5:49 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion | WHEC.com
Outrageous and dangerous. That's what flight attendants and pilots are saying about new rules that will allow pocket knives on planes.
Flight attendants are speaking out about the TSA's new guidelines to allow things like pocket knives and golf clubs in carry-on luggage.
Earlier this week, officials announced the change. Knives with blades shorter than 2.36 inches and half an inch wide. Also allowed now are souvenir baseball bats, golf clubs and other sporting equipment like hockey sticks.
Pilots are pretty safe in the cockpit. They are behind a locked door and they are allowed to have a gun if they choose, but what about the flight attendants who board several flights a day and what about the passengers?
Bionka Jackson, passenger, said, “It can be dangerous and it can be a hazard and we don't want another 9/11 to happen.”
That concern and that fear is what pushed TSA to initially ban certain items from airplanes. Post September 11, the agency made it very clear that check-in procedures would never be the same. But more than a decade later, they are easing up on their rules.
The TSA says it will allow small pocket knives on board. A typical Swiss Army-like knife. But even though we're talking about small knives, the announcement has still outraged flight attendants all over the nation.
Jackson said, “It really cuts to the core. The Department of Homeland Security and TSA were created out of 9/11 and this same agency has the nerve a decade later to turn around and bring knives back on board? It's a stab in the back frankly.”
Airline pilots agree.
Mark Waterstreet, said, “I was very surprised considering the world has not become an increasingly safe place but quite the opposite actually.”
Mark Waterstreet, of Spencerport, has been a pilot for 33 years. He says he feels safe in the cockpit since he is protected by a semi- automated weapon and a reinforced door. But it is not his safety he's concerned about, especially with these potential changes.
Waterstreet said, “I need to consider my passengers and my flight attendants and therefore I would have to say its not a change for the better.”
Waterstreet says he doesn't blame the flight attendants for fighting for their safety. He's one of many that's hoping TSA can re-think this change.
Waterstreet said, “I think it would be in the best interest of the traveling public and for our flight attendants if it was reversed.”
News10NBC spoke to TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbsteen on Tuesday and she said they have re-assessed the list of banned items and that, at this point and time, they are ready to allow the items on board. News10NBC asked her if they thought these items could be used as weapons. She said none of those items are considered weapons at this point and that they only want to focus on items that can cause catastrophic damage to a plane.
The changes are set to take place on April 25. The Association for Flight Attendants has created online petition for the White House to see. They are hoping to reach 100-thousand signatures by April 5.