In October, we reported that the US Transportation Security Administration had relaxed their rules so that “ostomy scissors” were allowed aboard aircraft [see also article on UOAA site]. But to prove they were “ostomy” scissors, they had to be “accompanied by an ostomate supply kit containing related supplies, such as collection pouches, wafers, positioning plates, tubing, or adhesives.”
Now, as of Dec 22, 2005, TSA has relaxed these rules further, so that anybody can carry small metal scissors onto an airplane without having to prove that they’re “ostomy” scissors. The rules now allow metal scissors with a cutting edge no greater than 4 inches, even if they have pointed tips. Certain other small tools, such as screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers with total length no greater than 7 inches, are also permitted.
The purpose of these changes is to reduce the effort in screening for certain low risk, high-volume items and focus more attention on higher risk items, such as explosives. In addition, the procedures are now less predictable, as more passengers are selected randomly for additional searches such as explosive screening of shoes, hand-wanding of passengers, enhanced pat down searches and inspections of carry-on bags. According to TSA Assistant Secretary Kip Hawley, “By incorporating unpredictability into our procedures and eliminating low-threat items, we can better focus our efforts on stopping individuals that wish to do us harm.”
For any screening involving searches of your person, you have the right to have the search done in a private area.
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