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TSA to allow pocketknives on passenger planes

The TSA says it will allow passengers to bring pocketknives, golf clubs and hockey sticks on passenger planes for the first time 2001.

Tsa security screener 2012 03 20Enlarge
A TSA agent waits for passengers to use the TSA PreCheck lane being implemented by the Transportation Security Administration at Miami International Airport on October 4, 2011 in Miami. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Travelers will be allowed to carry pocketknives onto US passenger planes for the first time since the Sept. 11 attacks starting next month.

The Transportation Safety Administration announced the changes today, Bloomberg reported.

Golf clubs and hockey sticks will also be allowed again starting April 25.

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The TSA is making the changes to conform with international standards, agency chief John Pistole said today during a security conference in New York.

Pistole also wants to free up TSA screeners.

In the last three months of 2012 alone, screeners at Los Angeles International Airport seized 47 of the small knives each day, according to Air Transportation World.

“Frankly, I don’t want TSA agents to be delayed by these,” Pistole said.

More from GlobalPost: New airport security rules to let some travelers keep shoes, belts on

The Flight Attendants Union Coalition, representing nearly 90,000 attendants nationwide, blasted the decision.

Stacy Martin, president of Southwest Airlines' flight-attendants union, called it "outrageous."

"This policy was designed to make the lives of TSA staff easier, but not make flights safer," she said in a statement obtained by Fox News. "While we agree that a passenger wielding a small knife or swinging a golf club or hockey stick poses less of a threat to the pilot locked in the cockpit, these are real threats to passengers and flight attendants in the passenger cabin."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130305/tsa-allow-pocketknives-passenger-planes