Nightly News   |  March 05, 2013

TSA to allow knives, ski poles on board

The recent change brings the U.S. in line with the international security standard that allows knives with blades up to six centimeters long. NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> ever since the 9/11 hijackers used box cutters to force down aircraft, the tsa has banned passengers from using knives from boarding the planes with them. now you it's changing course, allowing some, but not all knives and larger items, like golf club and ski poles , and if you must, pool cues, whiffle ball bats and lacrosse sticks . nbc's pete williams has more on all of this from washington tonight. pete, good evening.

>> reporter: brian, good evening. tsa says this will relieve the screeners from having to search for small knives and other objects that cannot do catastrophic damage to an airplane and to focus instead on the much more serious hazards. starting next month, tsa will partly lift the restriction that's been in place for 11 years, blocking passengers from bringing knives on board. it's an effort, says tsa, to devote more attention to the more serious threat he is.

>> we are trying to focus own the highest risks that being the non-metallic improvised explosive device and we don't want these small knives, pocket knives or the sporting equipment to be a distraction.

>> reporter: the change also brings the u.s. in line with the international security standard, allowing knifes with blades up to 6 centimeters long. under the new rules, passengers can carry on knifes with folding blades that are no longer than about two and a third inches that's six sent meters and blade no, sir wider than half an inch. it will still ban knifes with blades that are fixed or lock into place or that have molded handles, so a knife like this would be banned because the blade locks into place when it's folded out. box cutters and razor blades will still be banned, too. another change will allow passengers could carry on hockey or lacrosse sticks , a pool cue , ski poles and up to two golf clubs . that's another change to conform with the international carry-on standards. the rule is welcomed news to the estimated 35 million americans who carry a pocket knife , but several groups representing flight attendants say it puts them at higher risk.

>> flight attendants across america are absolutely not going to stand silently by while knives are reintroduced on board the aircraft. we believe this is a slippery slope . what will be the next weapon that can come on board?

>> reporter: passengers will also be allowed to carry on souvenir baseball bats , any bat up to 24 inches long, and weighing up to 24 ounces. this all goes into effect april 25th and the ban on lick quippeds will not change, brian.

>> can't wait to find out where people are going to put golf club and hockey sticks on board a flight these days. pete williams from the tsa line at washington national airport .