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12 23Fri10242014

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Won Pat shares concerns on allowing knives on planes

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SPEAKER Judith Won Pat is sharing the concerns of several members of Guam-based flight crews regarding the Transportation Security Administration’s decision that allows small knives and previously prohibited sports equipment onboard passenger planes.

In a letter to TSA Administrator John Pistole, Won Pat wrote of her “grave concern” over TSA’s decision to allow knives on commercial airliners.

She is also urging her colleagues and others to support a petition entitled “No Knives, Ever Again” which would be submitted to Congress in an effort to withdraw the policy.

Won Pat, along with Sen. Tina Muña-Barnes, received a visit last Thursday from United Airlines flight attendants who expressed their concern with TSA’s new regulations, which take effect later this month, on April 25.

“Permitting passengers to bring knives and some previously prohibited sports equipment onboard the aircraft reverses accepted safety procedures of post 9/11 travel. This concern is especially discerning to the men and women who ensure our safe passage between ports,” the Speaker wrote in her letter to Pistole.

“As members of Congress have asked you, The Flight Attendants’ Union Coalition, representing some 90,000 Flight Attendants, and on behalf of all stakeholders from Guam and elsewhere, who fly the friendly skies, I respectfully urge you to rescind this policy before the implementation date,” she added.

According to the new regulations, passengers will be allowed carry-on knives that are less than 2.36 inches long and less than 0.5 inches wide. TSA also will permit sports equipment such as billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and two golf clubs.

As part of the agency’s overall risk-based security approach, TSA explains that this policy will allow officers to better focus efforts on “higher threat items such as explosives.”

Won Pat also wrote to fellow senators and legislative staff members to sign and support the electronic petition, “No Knives, Ever Again,” at www.NoKnivesOnPlanes.com.

“My office called our local TSA office and was informed that the decision is across the board and not subject to states discretionary authority,” Won Pat said. “This includes Guam as well.”

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