Scissors, screwdrivers accepted on US flights beginning December 22

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Sunday, December 4, 2005

Scissors such as these will still be prohibited on US flights. Only scissors under 4" will be permitted.

The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced Friday that it will relax proscriptions against certain carry-on items. Beginning December 22, travelers flying in the United States will be allowed to carry scissors less than four inches in length and screwdrivers less than seven inches in length.

The TSA hopes that by relaxing restrictions on scissors and screwdrivers, screeners will be able to more closely guard against items such as box cutters and bomb making materials. There have been no restrictions on items such as scissor and screwdrivers in checked luggage -- in fact, box cutters, ice axes/picks, knives, meat cleavers, razor-type blades, sabers, and swords can all be transported in checked baggage.

As part of a broader security realignment, TSA screeners will begin performing more random searches of carry-on bags, pat downs, and hand-wand searches of travelers.

"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," TSA chief Kip Hawley said.

Flight attendants and pilots largely oppose the changes in permitted items -- they maintain that the changes undermine flight security.