The U.S. Transportation Security Administration will let people carry small pocketknives onto passenger planes for the first time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, along with golf clubs, hockey sticks and plastic Wiffle Ball-style bats.
The agency will permit knives with retractable blades shorter than 6 centimeters (2.36 inches) and narrower than 1/2 inch, TSA Administrator John Pistole said today at an aviation security conference in Brooklyn. The change, to conform with international rules, takes effect April 25.
So pocket knives and, um, wiffle bats (yeehaw!) are allowed on airplanes now, but I still can’t bring a full tube of toothpaste or a bottle of water on a plane and I still have to remove at least two clothing items before I’m permitted into the gate/boarding area. Last week, I both endured the body scanner (now with less nudity) and a pat-down at the gate. But pocket knives are permissible now? Not that I’m opposed to it, but aren’t these security measures appearing a little weird and arbitrary at this point?