AFA-CWA Applauds House Homeland Security Committee On Passage Of Bill To Remove Weapons From Aircraft
July 20, 2006
Washington, DC – The House Homeland Security Committee approved a bill yesterday that would force the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to remove scissors and other dangerous objects from the approved carry-on list. The Homeland Security Authorization Bill included a provision directing the TSA to once again prohibit these items.
"Today, the House of Representatives took a much needed step forward in protecting the safety and security of our airline industry," said Patricia Friend, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) International President. "Congressman Markey's tireless efforts to keep this issue at the forefront of importance will ensure that the loopholes in our current system are closed once and for all."
Last year, TSA lifted several potentially deadly items off their prohibited items list, making it permissible to carry scissors and other household tools on board an aircraft. AFA-CWA testified before Congress on several occasions and strongly urged lawmakers to prohibit TSA from enacting such a rule. In January, AFA-CWA flight attendants turned out at 26 airports across the country to participate in press conferences and public informational activities opposing the weakened regulation.
Congressman Ed Markey (D-CA) introduced a bill last year, H.R. 4452, that would have prevented TSA from removing any items from the prohibited items list. Since then, he has supported AFA-CWA in reversing this dangerous decision.
"The prohibited items list is an integral layer in securing our aviation system and it must remain in place. As the front line safety and security personnel onboard every commercial passenger aircraft in this country, we believe that the proposed changes would have endangered the lives of flight attendants and the passengers we work so hard to protect," said Friend.
According to a study by The Information Project, 77 percent of the more than 7,000 casualties as a result of hijacking since 1931 were caused by "sharp objects." This category includes scissors and screwdrivers, among other dangerous sharp objects.
For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill. More than 55,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come together to form AFA-CWA, the world's largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.