Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

08.18.05 – TSA Proposes Lifting Weapons Ban


Contact: Lonny Glover


817-540-0108 ext. 8302



TSA Proposes Lifting Ban on Razor Blades, 5” Knives, Ice Picks and Bows and Arrows

Euless, TX (August 18) – The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the union representing more than 23,000 American Airlines flight attendants, spoke out today against the TSA’s proposal to allow weapons back on board the aircraft.

"TSA’s proposal to lift the ban prohibiting knives, razorblades ice picks and other potential weapons on board the aircraft is beyond comprehension,” APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake said today. The TSA’s new head, Edmund S. “Kip” Hawley, in “efforts to make airport screening more passenger friendly,” is proposing loosening the ban on restricted items by allowing passengers to carry – among other things – razor blades, knives under 5” in length, bows and arrows and ice picks on board. Hutto-Blake continued, "The TSA has failed to mandate comprehensive security training for flight attendants since the events of September 11, 2001. Their proposal is counterintuitive to TSA’s mission; it would do nothing but make the aircraft cabin less secure by reintroducing potential weapons into the environment."

Just this month, two men were arrested in separate incidents for concealing razor blades while attempting to clear passenger screening at Kansas City and Ft. Lauderdale – one on the tongue of his boot, the other on the bottom of his shoes.

The proposal would also lift the requirement for passengers to remove their shoes during screening in major airports across the country. "TSA must have a very short memory to have forgotten that shoe bomber Richard Reid would have successfully ignited the explosives in his shoes in December 2001 but for the quick reactions of a flight attendant,” Hutto-Blake continued. "Most airports are without machines that would detect all types of explosives while on the passengers’ body. Screening shoes with carry-on bags provides for some level of assurance that they are safe."

APFA is the nation’s largest independent flight attendant union
representing only American Airlines Flight Attendants.
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