Organizations Representing 400,000 On The Front Lines Of U.S. Aviation Submit Legal Petition To TSA And Homeland Security To Keep All Knives Off Planes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lawyers for nine organizations representing 400,000 aviation professionals, passengers and law enforcement officers today filed a legal petition with Transportation Security Administrator John Pistole and copied to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano seeking to rescind plans to allow knives in the aircraft cabins for the first time since 9/11.
“The Transportation Security Administration and the Homeland Security Department cannot dismiss the grave security concerns of 400,000 people on the front lines of U.S. aviation, including TSA’s own Transportation Security Officers and Air Marshals,” the coalition asserted. The coalition also includes flight attendants, gate agents, pilots, law enforcement and passengers.
The petition makes five critical points:
— Permitting knives in the cabin is an unnecessary risk to the traveling public and violates the Administrator’s duty—as set out by Congress. A TSA-approved knife could be used to stab or kill a passenger, crew member, federal air marshal, gate agent or TSA Security Officer by a terrorist, mentally ill person or drug or alcohol-impaired passenger. A TSA-approved knife could be used to hijack a plane.
— It would be irresponsible to relax the TSA’s existing policy on knives when virtually every organization representing those directly affected by the change adamantly opposes it on safety and security grounds.
— Federal regulations currently ban all weapons on airplanes and in airport secure areas, and a knife is a weapon.
— TSA’s argument for the change is false. TSA says the change would bring the US in line with the international standard for knives. There is no international standard for knives: Canada, Israel and Taiwan – to name a few – ban knives on planes.
— One of the nation’s foremost experts on knives provides testimony stating that with many folding knives the only way to be certain whether its blade locks is to open the knife. However, TSA has instructed its Officers to screen knives in only a closed position. Consequently, knives that lock will inevitably wind up on airport concourses and aircraft cabins. Should TSA change its directive and allow TSA’s officer to directly examine knives at security checkpoints, the Officers would have to devote substantially more time to screening knives and security lines would slow.Read More
Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions Remains Resolute: No Knives, Ever Again
Washington, DC – In the face of a huge backlash from Flight Attendants, nearly every other stakeholder in aviation and the public, the Transportation Security Administration today postponed its plan to allow knives on US flights starting Thursday, April 25. But the 90,000-member Flight Attendants Union Coalition, which has opposed the TSA’s ill- advised plan from the start, remains resolute: No Knives on Planes Ever Again.
The United States has banned all knives from commercial flights since the September 11, 2001, attacks for good reason: Knives were the terrorists’ weapons of choice in bringing down four jetliners and murdering thousands of Americans. All knives should be banned from planes permanently. If the TSA wishes to explore a drastic departure from this logical, 11-year-old policy, it must comply with the rule-making requirements that it should have observed when it first announced its decision to allow knives on planes on March 5.
Coalition Of Flight Attendant Unions Calls On Homeland Security Napolitano To Halt Weakening Of Aviation Security As The Country Battles Terrorist Activity
Flight Attendants Express Grave Concern Over Allowing Knives on Planes
Washington, DC – As terrorist activity puts the country on high alert, the Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions, representing 90,000 U.S. flight attendants nationwide, today called on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to immediately cancel a new policy that would allow airline passengers to bring knives aboard airline flights starting next Thursday, April 25. The Coalition is appealing to Napolitano with the following statement:
“Given this week’s deadly terrorist attacks in Boston, this is not the time to be relaxing homeland security rules that protect the lives of the public, airline passengers and airline crews. It would be irresponsible to go forward next week with these ill-conceived changes in rules that were put in place after the 9/11 terrorist attacks for good reason.
“Secretary Napolitano, we call on you to act now to protect the American public before this new policy takes effect next week. Do not provide an open invitation for attacks against passengers and crews on our planes. Allowing knives on planes seven days from today would send a message to the country that this Administration is oblivious to the safety of the traveling public. You must keep knives out of the aircraft cabin. We demand an answer now.”Read More
Flight Attendant Alfred Marchand Widow And Mother Of Current Flight Attendant Tells TSA To “Think Of The Families”- Keep Knives Off Planes
Rebecca Marchand Meets with Lawmakers Following Boston Tragedy
Washington, DC – The Flight Attendants’ Union Coalition, representing 90,000 Flight Attendants at carriers across the country, released an open letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole from Rebecca Marchand, widow of Flight Attendant Alfred Marchand who was murdered by men with small knives on 9/11, United flight 175. She is also a mother of a current Flight Attendant.
“The attacks in Boston prove once again that we can’t be selective in our vigilance. We must guard against all threats, big and small,” Marchand writes. “As the wife of a Flight Attendant killed on 9/11, and the mother of a Flight Attendant who flies today, I have earned the right to say this: Knives have NO place on an airplane.”Read More
Media Advisory for April 15, 2013
Washington, DC – The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions, representing 90,000 Flight Attendants, continues leafleting next week at Miami International Airport to directly enlist passengers in the fight to keep knives out of the aircraft cabin. Leaflets encourage passengers to visit www.NoKnivesOnPlanes.com and call their member of Congress to support legislation to keep knives out of the aircraft cabin.
Airport Leafleting and Local Times for April 15:
Monday, April 15
Miami International Airport
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm ET
Contacts: Julie Moyer – 561-427-3662 and
Todd McJunkin – 212-518-3987