I don’t understand this move:
A new plan by the Transportation Security Administration would allow airline passengers to bring scissors and other sharp objects in their carry-on bags because the items no longer pose the greatest threat to airline security, according to sources familiar with the plans.
In a series of briefings this week, TSA Director Edmund S. “Kip” Hawley told aviation industry leaders that he plans to announce changes at airport security checkpoints that would allow scissors less than four inches long and tools, such as screwdrivers, less than seven inches long, according to people familiar with the TSA’s plans. These people spoke on condition of anonymity because the TSA intends to make the plans public Friday.
“We’ll be announcing a number of new initiatives that will have both a positive security and customer service impact,” said TSA spokeswoman Yolanda Clark, who declined to comment on the details of the announcement. The plans must be approved by the Homeland Security Department and the Office of Management and Budget.
Faced with a tighter budget and morale problems among its workforce, the TSA says its new policy changes are aimed at making the best use of limited resources. Homeland Security Department officials are increasingly concerned about airports’ vulnerability to suicide bomb attacks. TSA officials now want airport screeners to spend more of their time looking for improvised explosive devices rather than sharp objects.
The TSA’s internal studies show that carry-on-item screeners spend half of their screening time searching for cigarette lighters, a recently banned item, and that they open 1 out of every 4 bags to remove a pair of scissors, according to sources briefed by the agency. Officials believe that other security measures now in place, such as hardened cockpit doors, would prevent a terrorist from commandeering an aircraft with box cutters or scissors.
A couple of quick observations:
1.) What kind of jackass is STILL packing scissors when he/she goes on a flight? I have been on dozens of plane flights, and never felt compelled to bring scissors with me. And please don’t tell me that you just have to bring your 99 cent sewing kit with you.
2.) Aren’t 3 1/2″ scissors every bit as dangerous as box cutters? If you read the article, the flight attendants think so.
3.) Some common sense, please. Lighters are not a threat, large sharp objects like scissors and 6″ screwdrivers ARE.
4.) Why are budgeting and MORALE issues forcing these changes?
In other words, what am I not getting here?