According to an ABC News report, a former Transportation Security Administration official says knives and other items should be removed from the prohibited items list for airline passengers.
Former TSA administrator Kip Hawley, who ran the TSA from 2005 to 2009, advocates that the TSA no longer look for weapons that cannot penetrate the cockpit door.
“Blades, sharp objects, tools, all those things should be removed from the prohibited items list,” Hawley told ABC News. “Carry a big knife, carry five knives. What are you going to do with a knife or five knives? You are not going to take over the plane. … The focus should be explosives and toxins — things that can kill a lot of people very fast before security measures can stop someone from making that attack.”
He argues since 9/11, objects that cannot kill a lot of people in a short period of time are no longer a significant threat. He says allowing screeners to concentrate on detonators and bomb parts instead of small weapons would make flying safer, and the screening process more convenient.
“The captain is not going to open up the door. The captain is not going to surrender the cockpit and the passengers are not going to sit by and let the guy stand there with a knife,” Hawley said. “I mean, you have to think of it as risk management. What is the risk that somebody is going stand up there with a knife to somebody — a child, a flight attendant — the risk that they’re going to do that and then take over the plane? And do we put people through these long security lines, fishing through their bags, two million people a day, just to prevent the eventuality that somebody might get killed? That’s a tradeoff.”
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