145 Members of Congress Sign Letter to Pistole
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Members of Congress are so opposed to this plan to put knives on planes, you could fill a 737 with all of them. The TSA was right to delay this decision, and now they should deny any knife from ever being brought into a passenger cabin of a plane. I want to thank the flight attendants, the pilots, the air marshals, the TSA screeners, and the airlines who all stood up and said ‘no’ to this terrible idea,” said Rep. Markey.
“If this doesn’t get TSA’s attention, I don’t know what will,” said APFA President Laura Glading. “Flight attendants, pilots, TSA screeners, air marshals, passengers, the American public, and now at least 143 members of Congress agree: knives do not belong on planes. I just hope Mr. Pistole can come to acknowledge what everybody else seems to already know. I thank Mr. Markey and Mr. Grimm for leading their colleagues in this effort.”
Last week, the APFA released the results of a national poll which found that 9 in 10 Americans believe that prohibiting passengers from carrying knives is a good policy and one that should not be changed. The results were virtually identical for frequent flyers and non-frequent flyers alike.
APFA also announced the placement of a paid advertisement in Washington, DC’s Reagan National Airport (DCA) which cites the survey results and calls travelers to action. The ad, which was placed yesterday, is intended to keep the issue in the forefront of travelers’ minds. “Tourists, federal employees, and members of Congress are constantly flying through DCA so the ad dovetails nicely with our Washington strategy,” said APFA Government Affairs Representative Julie Frederick.
Originally set to for implementation on April 25, 2013, Mr. Pistole delayed the rule change indefinitely in order to involve stakeholders in the policy discussion. Representatives Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) led an early effort that prompted TSA to take this step. Pressure increased steadily with various labor groups, passenger advocates, airlines and their trade association, and knife experts weighing in. The Markey/Grimm letter underscores the fact that the vast majority of key stakeholders and Americans writ large favor a common sense approach to aviation security.