The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) issued this statement today following the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announcement that airport security officers will continue to enforce the current prohibited items list which prohibits all knives:
“It’s simple: no knives on planes, ever again. We commend the efforts of TSA Administrator John Pistole to review the feedback of stakeholders who are on the front lines of aviation. AFA is proud of the contributions of our own security experts including AFA’s Director of Air Safety, Health and Security, Chris Witkowski , who serves as a representative on the Aviation Security Advisory Committee. Members of AFA have for decades made the decision to direct resources of the union to promote a strong voice for aviation safety, health and security. The outcome of this work means passengers and crew are safer today.
“The results of today are also a good lesson in collective action. Together with our allies, we formed a massive campaign that included public outreach, legislative action and a legal strategy. Flight Attendants stuck together with a powerful voice through our Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions. Air Marshals brought with them the law enforcement community and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association contributed an experienced voice about the dangers of knives on planes. Passengers added their support and the leading passenger rights group, flyersrights.org, stood with us in every action we took. American, US Airways and United pilots, through their unions, joined our chorus of voices against knives as well. And through Airlines for America, the airline trade group, our airlines opposed knives on planes as well.
“From the beginning we had extraordinary support and powerful advocates through House Homeland Security Committee members Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA). Congressional leaders like Ed Markey (D-MA) and Michael Grimm (R-NY) took up this issue as their own and introduced legislation in the House for a permanent ban on knives. In the Senate, our champions are Charles Schumer (D-NY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and the late Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) who co-sponsored the “Keep Knives Out of Our Skies Act.”
“There is no opposition. TSA agrees. It is time for Congress to act on this legislation for a permanent ban on knives. This is a bipartisan issue that is supported by the vast majority of Americans. It’s about our security and it’s time: No Knives, Ever Again.”