Delta CEO opposes TSA lifting restriction of small knives on planes

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The CEO of the dominant air-carrier at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is voicing opposition to the Transportation Security Administration's decision this week to lift restrictions on passengers and allow them to resume carrying small knives on planes, The Associated Press reports.

The TSA announced Thursday that starting next month, such items as small knives, souvenir baseball bats, golf clubs and other sports equipment would once again be allowed as carry-on items.

In response to the lightening of the agency's restrictions, Delta chief Richard Anderson sent a letter to TSA administrator John Pistole about the "legitimate concerns" he shares with the airline's flight attendants about allowing small knives on board flights.

Small knives have been banned on commercial flights for 11 years, and Anderson wrote that allowing them again "will add little value to the customer security process flow in relation to the additional risk for our cabin staff and customers."

The letter reportedly didn't address concerns about the other items.

Anderson added if lifting the restriction on small knives is about increasing security checkpoint flow, "there are much more effective steps we can take together to streamline the security checkpoints with risk-based screening mechanisms."

The changes in the TSA's carry on-restrictions go into effect April 25.

Several other groups are against the reversal of the policy, including the Coalition of Airline Pilot Associations, which represents 22,000 pilots; and the Flight Attendants Union Coalition, representing nearly 90,000 flight attendants, KSTP-TV reports.

The national president of the 26,000-member strong Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association -- which includes federal air marshals -- said he wasn't consulted by the TSA before the agency reversed the policy, and indicated that he will ask Congress to block the action.

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