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THB Letter to Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA)

December 6, 2005

 
The Honorable Edward J. Markey
U.S. House of Representatives

 
RE:  TSA to Allow Weapons Into the Aircraft Cabin

 
Dear Representative Markey:

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) representing the 22,600 Flight Attendants’ at American Airlines is appalled by the Transportation Security Agency’s announcement that they will lift the ban on potential weapons and allow them into the aircraft cabin. APFA strongly supports your “Leave All Blades Behind Act.” This bill will ban items the TSA would allow in the aircraft cabin –scissors with a cutting edge of four inches or less and tools such as screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers smaller than seven inches.  TSA’s action downgrades cabin security standards resulting in a step backwards.  APFA joins other Flight Attendant organizations and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association in opposing the new TSA guidelines.

On December 3, 2005, a passenger returned to security screening to give TSA a pair of scissors not found in the initial screening.  Re-screening the passenger’s carry-on bag, two more pairs of scissors were found along with a club.  The passenger was subsequently denied boarding.  In an incident yesterday, TSA found razor blades in the sole of a passenger’s shoe, the passenger was taken into custody.  TSA was prompted to act in these cases because the items are currently banned, and they highlight the on-going need for TSA vigilance – all of these items could have been used as weapons.

TSA justified the change in guidelines stating that it needs to shift resources to focus more on searching for explosive devices and away from sharp objects. Flight Attendants’ recognize the potential threat posed by explosives and support TSA’s increased concentration in that area.  Their efforts need to be in addition to other security measures – not instead of.

Every Flight Attendant in this country was profoundly impacted by the events of 9/11 when our friends and colleagues were the first to be attacked on that day. Flight Attendants’ continue to be the most visible targets in the aircraft cabin. TSA’s policy is devaluing the role Flight Attendants’ play in aviation security.  We commend you for swiftly acting to stop TSA’s misguided plan.

Thank you for helping us keep the skies safe. Please let us know how we can be of assistance in gaining support for your legislation.  

 

Sincerely,

Tommie Hutto-Blake
APFA President

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Virtual Quarterly Membership Meeting – July 11

July 11 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Virtual Quarterly Membership Meeting – July 11

July 11 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Virtual Quarterly Membership Meeting – July 11

July 11 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
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