A bipartisan group of 133 Congressmen have called for a withdrawal of the latest US policy that allows air travellers to carry small knifes in domestic and international flights.

Led by Congressman Bennie G. Thompson and Michael Grimm, the group of 133 Congressmen in a letter to John Pistole, Administrator of Transportation Security Administration (TSA), expressed serious concern and urged the withdrawal of the recent decision that TSA will start to allow passengers to bring certain knives and sports equipment onboard airplanes.

TSA is the federal body in-charge of airport security in the US.

The decision was made without formal engagement with stakeholders impacted by this policy, including those most likely to come into contact with someone possessing a knife on a plane — flight crew members and air marshals, the Congressmen alleged.

Several airlines have already opposed this policy and have said that this would make air travel unsafe for passengers.

“In the weeks since this change has been announced, the American public still has no solid explanation of the reasoning which led to the decision permitting potentially harmful items on airplanes — creating a potential security gap,” Thompson, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said in a statement.

Congressman Grimm said this level of congressional opposition should serve as a wake-up call to TSA.

“I don’t know which is more idiotic — the policy or the process — but the bottom-line is that the ban must be reinstated. We live in a post-9/11 world, and no safety threat should be taken lightly,” Grimm said.

(This article was published on March 22, 2013)
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