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June 05, 2013

Thompson Statement on TSA Announcement Keeping Knives Prohibited Onboard Planes

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement regarding news from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that small knives and certain sports equipment will be kept on the prohibited items list. Ranking Member Thompson, along with other members of Congress, have written to John S. Pistole, Administrator of TSA, on two occasions recently to urge him to refrain from implementing a previously announced policy change that would have allowed these items onboard airplanes. When this policy change was first announced, TSA did not consult with stakeholders impacted by this policy and did not consult with the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC), which has played a role in the development of security policy in the past.

I would like to congratulate Administrator Pistole on his decision not to pursue any policy changes that would allow knives and certain sporting goods onboard planes – thus leaving the prohibited items list unchanged. I have always championed stakeholder feedback and am pleased to see that after adopting a thorough approach to evaluate this decision and engaging the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC), TSA has reached a sensible solution that ensures the safety and security of frontline crewmembers and the flying public. When established processes for creating policy are followed, common sense prevails. In the future, I hope that TSA continues to keep the safety and security of both the passengers and crewmembers a priority.

First letter to TSA - March 21, 2013

Second letter to TSA - April 9, 2013

Statement on delay in policy change - April 23, 2013

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978