TSA drops plan to allow small knives on planes

WASHINGTON (AP) - The head of the Transportation Security Administration says he's dropping a proposal that would have let airline passengers carry small knives, souvenir bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment onto planes.

It was welcome news at Reagan National Airport Wednesday.

“Things are complicated enough and have been since 9/11,” says Melodie Poindexter, who was traveling home to Boise, Id. with friends. “It was a silly idea to begin with so I think it’ll be safer for everyone without them.”

The proposal had drawn fierce opposition from lawmakers, airlines and others who said it would place passengers and crews at risk.

“I would prefer for them not to have the knives on,” says Ronda Houston, who was traveling with her granddaughter. “Anything that is illegal or going to hurt us, I don’t want it on there.”

John Pistole tells The Associated Press that dropping the proposal allows his agency to focus on other programs and devices, like explosives.

Last month 145 House members signed a letter asking Pistole to keep the current policy that bars passengers from carrying aboard knives and other items.

When Pistole released the proposal in March, he said the knives couldn't enable terrorists to cause a plane to crash.

Business traveler Chuck Lutz is glad, but thinks it’s time to relax another 9/11 policy.

“It’s annoying that you have to have three-ounce bottles or less,” he says. “A lot of products aren’t three ounces.”

TSA screeners confiscate over 2,000 of the small folding knives a day from passengers.