Markey hails TSA decision to delay knife policy
April 23, 2013, Washington, D.C. - Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who was the most vocal legislator opposing the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s proposed policy to allow small knives onto planes, today praised the agency for delaying its decision following an outcry against the policy by flight attendants, pilots, law enforcement, and even some airlines.
Rep. Markey introduced his “No Knives Act” with Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) shortly after the policy change was announced, and joined flight attendants and pilots at events to speak against the decision to allow knives on planes for the first time since 9/11.
“This smart decision by the TSA to delay their knife policy is a victory for the passengers, pilots, flight attendants and law enforcement officers who would have immediately been at risk of a knife attack. People with radical ideas can use everyday objects to cause great harm. If there is an opportunity to decrease risks to Americans, we have a duty to protect our citizens and disallow knives from being taken onto planes," said Rep. Markey. “We learned the lessons of 9/11, that small blades on planes can have enormous consequences, and the TSA should accept and apply those lessons. Knives aren’t needed on planes, now or ever, and I commend the TSA for reconsidering its misguided approach on behalf of the millions of Americans who fly every single day."
Sara Nelson, a Boston-based United Airlines flight attendant and Vice President, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said, “In the wake of the terrorist bombing in Boston last week and today's arrests of terrorists targeting a passenger train in Toronto, now is not the time to weaken transportation security. Flight attendants are breathing a sigh of relief that the weapons that led to the deadliest attack on U.S. soil in our nation’s history will not be allowed in the aircraft cabin this week. Yet we remain vigilant. We will continue to work with Congressman Markey to pass legislation that ensures no knives are allowed in airline passenger cabins, ever again.”
Laura Glading, President of APFA (Association of Professional Flight Attendants said, “APFA applauds the Administrator's decision to postpone and we hope to have a real and meaningful discussion about TSA's proposed policy over the next 60 days. I believe I speak for the broad coalition of stakeholders that oppose this dangerous policy when I thank Mr. Markey for his leadership. He knows as well as we do that knives do not belong on planes.”
Rep. Markey pledged to continue his fight to overturn the proposed rule permanently, saying, “I will now work with my colleagues in Washington, along with flight attendants, pilots, and law enforcement, to pass the No Knives Act to ensure that the originally proposed rule change never goes into effect. Keeping our citizens safe is government’s first and most important task, and that effort knows no political affiliation.”