For Immediate Release: May 22, 2013
145 Members of Congress Sign Letter to Administrator Pistole
(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions, representing nearly 90,000 flight attendants, applauded the efforts of Congress to keep knives out of the aircraft cabin for good. Representatives Ed Markey (D-MA) and Michael Grimm (R-NY) led the effort by authoring the letter to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and generating bipartisan support. In all, 145 members of Congress signed on to the letter, stating that the TSA’s proposed rule change to allow knives in the passenger cabin for the first time since September 11, 2001 “is dangerous, unnecessary, and irresponsible.”
“Members of Congress are so opposed to this plan to put knives on planes, you could fill a 737 with all of them,” stated Congressman Markey. “The TSA was right to delay this decision, and now they should deny any knife from ever being brought into a passenger cabin of a plane. I want to thank the flight attendants, the pilots, the air marshals, the TSA screeners, and the airlines who all stood up and said ‘no’ to this terrible idea.”
“We have heard from a host of stakeholders on this issue, and the consensus is simple: no knives on planes,” stated Congressman Grimm. “We are all in agreement that it is not only irresponsible but dangerous to change this policy. The reality is that we live in a post-9/11 world, and we can never be too careful when it comes to protecting the safety of our flight crew and passengers. Keeping knives off our planes is a smart decision and one that should be upheld.”
On March 5, 2013, TSA Administrator John Pistole announced his intention to remove certain knives from the prohibited items list. Flight attendants immediately mobilized and soon the coalition to block the rule change included pilots, gate agents, air marshals, TSA officers, passengers, law enforcement officers, several airline CEOs and the airline trade association.
Originally set to for implementation on April 25, 2013, Administrator Pistole delayed the rule change on April 23 in order to “incorporate the input from the Aviation Security Advisory Committee and continue training requirements nationwide.” Pressure has continued to mount against the decision and is culminating this week as TSA stops accepting limited comments on the rule change.
ABOUT THE COALITION: The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions coordinates on issues of mutual interest to flight attendants. Members of the Coalition are the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Transport Workers Union.
AFA: Sara Nelson, firstname.lastname@example.org 202.286.1973
APFA: Anthony DeMaio, email@example.com 508.400.2778
IAM: James Carlson, firstname.lastname@example.org 301.967.4554
IBT: Galen Munroe, email@example.com 202.624.6904
TWU: Jamie Horwitz, firstname.lastname@example.org 202.549.4921