TSA: Knives, Billiard Cues to Be Allowed on Flights

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Soon, passengers at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and at airports nationwide will be permitted to bring some knives on board their next flight.

The Transportation Security Administration released information Tuesday on the planned change that will take effect April 25, 2013.

A statement from TSA explained the change in part as: “a layered approach to security, and to align more closely with International Civil Aviation Organization standards.”

It additionally stated that: "This is part of an overall Risk-Based Security Approach, which allows Transportation Security Officers to better focus their efforts on finding higher threat items such as explosives.”

Passengers at Hopkins had mixed reactions Tuesday night.

“I’d hate to see something bad happen again,” said Ken Vadenhaute.

“Things that are prohibited should stay prohibited," said Theresa Gentry.

However, James Hickman said, “I think that if people are going to get things by, they’ll get things by.”

The TSA will allow knives that do not lock and that have blades that are 2.36 inches or 6 centimeters or less in length and are less than one half-inch in width, novelty-sized and toy bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs as part of their carry-on baggage.

This change is expected to reduce time spent at security checkpoints.

“I’m OK with it," said Myvina Hickman. "I don’t think it will lessen the heightened security because of it.”

But flight attendants are concerned.

The Association of Flight Attendants, representing 90,000 workers, called the TSA’s decision “dangerous.”

And further complicating matters, the change is coming on the heels of the TSA’s sequestration announcement Monday. Officials said travelers could see lines and increased wait times due to mandatory reductions in staff and a hiring freeze.

A press release stated: “TSA will put in place a hiring freeze, which will result in up to an additional 1,000 TSO vacancies by Memorial Day Weekend and up to 2,600 vacancies by the end of the fiscal year.”

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