TSA stands by plan to allow small knives on planes

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WASHINGTON — The head of the Transportation Security Administration told lawmakers Thursday he stands by his plan to allow passengers to carry small knives onto planes despite a growing backlash against the proposal.

It’s unlikely in these days of hardened cockpit doors and other preventative measures that the small folding knives could be used by terrorists to take over a plane, TSA Administrator John Pistole told a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee.

On the other hand, searching for the knives on passengers or in their carry-on bags is time consuming, Pistole said.

The policy, which goes into effect April 25, has sparked strong opposition from flight attendants, federal air marshals, some pilot unions and even aviation insurers.

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