A former Federal Aviation Administration security director is the latest expert to blast a federal proposal to allow passengers once again to take small knives and other sharp objects aboard commercial flights.
“Somebody over at TSA (Transportation Security Administration) is out of their mind. I can’t put it any more clearly than that,” Billie Vincent, FAA security chief from 1982 to 1986 and now an aviation security consultant, told the New York Post.
It’s nice to see someone in the aviation industry recognizes the stupidity of this proposal.
JABBS first wrote about the proposal in August, shortly after it was made to the TSA head, Edmund “Kip” Hawley. The proposal would end the ban on knives less than five inches long, scissors, razor blades, ice picks, throwing stars and bows and arrows. Those items were banned by the TSA in 2002 as part of a broader effort to make air travel (at least appear) safer following the 2001 terrorist attacks.
On Nov. 4, Hawley told the House Homeland Security subcommittee on economic security that the proposal was being considered as part of a broader effort to reduce security delays. A decision will be made by January, he said.
Of course, reducing security delays doesn’t quite mesh with the Bush Administration mantra that they will do “everything we can” to make the homeland safer.
Some have suggested that the real reason the proposal is being considered is because the Republican-led Congress has reduced the budget for TSA screeners. Given that, some security experts have suggested that the reduced screener workforce should focus on sniffing out suicide bombers rather than targeting knife-carriers.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather wait in line for an extra few minutes — as has been the case since the 2001 terrorist attacks — than risk having a knife-carrier among the passengers.
The nation’s flight attendants agree. Sharp objects “could definitely lead to the deaths of flight attendants and passengers,” Patricia A. Friend, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said in a letter to Hawley shortly after the proposal was made.
This item first appeared at Journalists Against Bush’s B.S.