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US delays plan to allow knives on plane

April 23, 2013 12:41 IST

The United States has temporarily delayed a controversial new rule that would have allowed passengers to carry small knives inside the plane.

The new rule set to go into effect on April 25 was opposed by a strong group of lawmakers and US airways who argued that this would endanger the safety of the passengers.

"TSA will temporarily delay implementation of changes to the Prohibited Items List, originally scheduled to go into effect April 25," said a spokesperson of Transportation and Security Administration, the federal agency responsible for the security of airports security.

TSA said the move was delayed "in order to accommodate further input from the Aviation Security Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from the aviation community, passenger advocates, law enforcement experts and other stakeholders."

"This timing will enable TSA to incorporate the ASAC's feedback about the changes to the Prohibited Items List and continue workforce training," a TSA statement said.

Last month, led by Congressman Bennie G Thompson, Eric Swalwell and Michael Grimm, the group of 133 Congressmen in a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole called for withdrawal of such a decision.

They alleged the decision was made without formal engagement with stakeholders impacted by this policy, including those most likely to come into contact with someone possessing a knife on a plane - flight crewmembers and air marshals.

Several airlines have already opposed this policy and have said this would make air travel unsafe for passengers.

"In the weeks since this change has been announced, the American public still has no solid explanation of the reasoning which led to the decision permitting potentially harmful items on airplanes -- creating a potential security gap," Thompson, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said in a statement.

Lalit K Jha inj Washington
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