A change in federal policy to allow small knives and sporting goods on commercial planes has generated strong reaction from passengers, pilots and flight attendants.
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John Pistole, the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, announced that starting April 25 the agency will let passengers bring small knives, golf clubs, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and small novelty bats into the cabin of commercial planes.
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The new policy is meant to bring U.S. security policy in line with international standards and free TSA screeners to focus on more serious threats to airline security, agency officials say.
Representatives for airline pilots and flight attendants unions say they were surprised by the annoucement and worried that the changes will reduce safety in the cabin.
"These proposed changes represent a significant step backward in aviation security, and we will express that view with policymakers," according to a statement by the Allied Pilots Assn., which represents the pilots for American Airlines.
On social media, some passengers have criticized the policy change, while others say the TSA should further ease security rules to allow other items such as water and hairspray.