Reversing a decade long trend toward ever-tighter security regulations, the US FAA will again allow passengers to carry small knives and an assortment of clubs and bats onto flights.
The policy change will bring US security standards into line with those overseas and allow the Transportation Security Administration to focus on more serious threats, the FAA said.
But the change drew an immediate outcry from unions representing flight attendants, who said the decision was meant to make life easier from ground security personnel at the risk of endangering passengers and crew.
The change also drew a puzzled reaction on social media, with many commentators pointing out that passenger could now bring knives or hockey sticks aboard flights, but not bottles of water or shampoo.
Under the new policy, folding knives with blades less than 6cm long and 1.25cm wide will be permitted on board. Those measurements are meant to include pen knives, corkscrews with small blades and other small knives.
Novelty-sized baseball bats, plastic toy bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks and up to two golf clubs will also be allowed on board. Box cutters, razor blades and knives that don’t fold or have molded grip handles are still prohibited.