Flight attendants start petition; opposes TSA policy on knives - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Flight attendants start petition; opposes TSA policy on knives

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The head of the world's second biggest airline, Delta, joined the growing opposition to the Transportation Security Administration's new policy allowing passengers to carry small knives onto planes.

Delta CEO Richard Anderson says allowing small knives back on planes will do little to speed up passenger screening - but adds risk for cabin staff and passengers.

Flight attendants mounted a nationwide campaign with a petition posted on the White House website. By late Friday it had gained nearly 13,000 signatures. The Flight Attendants Union Coalition, representing nearly 90,000 flight attendants, says the ban on dangerous objects "is an integral layer in aviation security and must remain in place."

Passenger Kimberly Raines said she would sign the petition because she would be scared to fly knowing others could carry small knives. Other passengers don't see the big deal. "If somebody is going to do something, they're going to find a way to get it done. We just all stay vigilant. That's all we can do..I just think we've done it in the past and we were fine and we'll be fine again," Passenger Andrew Kelley said.

Passengers are also being asked to sign the petition and call legislators. Congressman Mel Watt told WBTV by phone that his snap reaction is to say it's a bad idea but wants to hear more behind the reasoning.

And in a statement Congressman Richard Hudson said "I am supportive of TSA focusing on risk-based security measures. The recent decision to eliminate golf clubs, small knives less than two inches in length, and ski poles from the prohibited items list is one that I believe balances security with efficiency, and I look forward to hearing directly from TSA Administrator Pistole next week at our Subcommittee hearing about how, through such measures, TSA is using their resources more effectively and improving traveler experience."

There has been a gradual easing of some of the security measures applied to airline passengers after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The new policy conforms U.S. security standards to international standards and allows the TSA to concentrate its energies on more serious safety threats, the agency said when it announced the change this week.

The policy change was based on a recommendation from an internal TSA working group, which decided the items represented no real danger, the agency has said.

TSA plans to implement the policy on April 25 as scheduled.

Copyright 2013 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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