Sunday, November 06, 2005

Reagan's FAA Security Chief Blasts Plan To Allow Small Knives On Planes

A former Federal Aviation Administration security director is the latest expert to blast a federal proposal to once again allow passengers 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.


Anonymous Daphne08 said...

Gee, does this mean I can get my
small (very small... but expensive) scissors back? A TSA agent angrily took them from me in the Las Vegas airport in 2002 as she stared me down. I'll never get over losing my harmless little scissors.

Seriously, that's a great blog. I've bookmarked it.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous napi21 said...

When I heard this yesterday, I said OH My God, somebody is actually thinking!!!! How is that possible?

11:28 AM  
Anonymous oblivious said...

"risk having a knife-carrier among the passengers"

I really hope this is sarcasm. If flight attendants believe pocket knives and other sharp objects will lead to the death of flight attendants then I guess every male over 150 pounds should be banned from flying too, since they could theoretically overpower a flight attendant.

I'd take a baseball bat any day over a pocket knife. Are baseball bats banned, by the way?

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Buford Pusser said...

Deterrence to 911 hijackers: It's the passengers, Stupid
Al Qaida is never going to hijack another plane full of passengers.

The 9/11 passengers saw to that

For now, whenever a plane is hijacked, the passengers will know their only hope is to take over the plane.

And they'll do it.

Which destroys al Qaida's mission.

Most of our post-911 airport secuity measures are stupid in the extreme, even the prohibition against box cutters and small knives.

Seems weird to say, I know, but it's true.

Buford Pusser.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous oblivious said...

Yup, everytime I get on a plane and look around me I think... If anyone tried to take over this plane with boxcutters, they'd be taken down in about one minute. I wouldn't sit still for 5 seconds. And I suspect many men would be even eager than me to mix it up with potential hijackers. And women.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous sandnsea said...

True, and on the subject
That's why righty tighties believe in bombing the hell out of people. Or having everyone carry a handgun. If you teach them that we'll kick your ass at the slightest provocation, they won't provocate.

Just sayin'.

So yeah, no plane could be hijacked right now. But it's still stupid to allow knives on planes and always was. I wonder if overall crime at airports has gone down since 9/11.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous truthisfreedom said...

doesn't EVERYONE know by now that they can't carry knives on planes?
or scissor? or sharp objects? it's flabbergasting to me that they have delays in security because of these things...

11:33 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

I'm not whacha-call an "expert" in aviation security, not like the highly overpaid TSA officials who think up ways to keep us safe, like giving passengers knives but, if I could get some of the previous posters to think for a minute:

You say you're all bad-ass and so no terrorist would dare try to, uhm, terrorize the US? Did you ever read any transcripts from the phone calls made by passengers on the planes that were hijacked on 9/11. Did you know that they cut the throat of a stewardess? I'm guessing that was part of a hostage taking situation. Suppose some nut had a little kid and was holding a boxcutter to her throat? What would you do to save everyone? Crash the plane into the ground, like they did on Flight 93? And that would deter a suicidal terrorist who wants to crash a plane-load of Americans, how exactly?

Honestly, the level of dumbassery I hear is breathtaking! I'd be convinced if anyone could explain exactly why it is necessary for everyone to have a knife in their carry-on luggage. Anyone want to explain that? Otherwise I say why change what's worked so far?

3:28 PM  
Anonymous yellowcanine said...

I can see allowing pen knives but throwing stars and bows and arrows?

Who takes a bow and arrows on an airplane? Wouldn't one get a good sturdy case and check it? It wouldn't exactly fit under the seat or in the overhead compartment.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous politicaholic said...

Those politicians are just buckling under the powerful Knife lobby...

I hear that there's a whole terrorist organization that bases all of their teachings on the use of the knife called "The Cub Scouts". If you allow knives the next thing you know a 747 is hijacked and forced to land at Yellowstone.

The Horror!

3:01 PM  

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