(03/06/13) - For more than 10 years, it's been a source of aggravation for air travelers. TSA workers have confiscated thousands of pocketknives because they were considered dangerous. But now the agency has made some exceptions.
Many of us have felt the frustration and embarrassment when a pocketknife is discovered during an airport security screening.
"I sell quite a few knives to people. We're right down the road from Bishop Airport. They get off the airplane and come right straight in here to buy a pocketknife," said Art Robbins of Rocky's Great Outdoors.
Effective April 25, the TSA will allow knives that don't lock and have blades less than 2.36 inches and are less than a half inch in width.
"It's not a weapon. It's a personal tool," Robbins said.
The TSA revision aligns more closely with international aviation standards.
The TSA says the rule change will not slow down the screening process. If you come through the line with a knife, the TSA says it will use common sense to decide if you get to go through or if you have to give up your knife.
Bishop Airport passengers, for the most part, seemed to think the allowing small knives on board would be OK.
"I think it's a great idea. Every once in awhile you might have something on yourself you might forget. I don't carry a knife when I travel, but I don't think it's a bad thing," said Simon Thomas of Roscommon.
"I don't know how they make their decisions to begin with. It doesn't make much sense to me one way or the other," said Mike Johnson of Harrisville.
Others say a small knife in the hands of a well-trained, motivated hijacker could do a lot of harm.
"There are people whose minds are not acting right. A two-inch knife can be a dangerous as dynamite," said James Becton, a passenger arriving at Bishop.