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TSA to implement changes in airport screening procedures

Updated:
Relaxing security rules at the airport. Several items banned from planes after September 11th as deadly weapons will soon be allowed back on board.

News on 6 anchor Terry Hood explains what they are and how soon the changes take effect. As Tulsa International Airport employees get the terminal ready for the holidays, security teams get ready for big changes, taking effect in the middle of the Christmas travel rush.

Tulsa International Airport already expects a busier than average holiday season. Now, screeners and passengers have to contend with changing security priorities. In the days after the World Trade Center attack, tools like screwdrivers and small scissors were strictly prohibited aboard an airplane.

Now those rules are about to change. After December 22nd, tools like screwdrivers, wrenches, and plier’s 7 inches or shorter will be allowed on board, as well as scissors with blades shorter than 4 inches. Box-cutters, knives, and lighters are still banned.

The Transportation Security Administration says allowing tools and scissors on board will allow their screeners to focus more on large-scale explosives.

To get the job done, the TSA says passengers should expect more pat-downs and more hand-waning. They say you'll see more searches through your carry-on luggage and more canine teams patrolling the airport.

TIA spokesperson Mary Smith: "There have been a lot of changes in airline security since 9-11, especially on board the airplane, so I think the changes we'll be seeing as of December 22nd, will allow TSA screeners to concentrate their efforts on things that pose a much more significant threat than let's say, small scissors."

Mary Smith says the airport isn't concerned the new rules will be a temptation for terrorists, but she says changes won't help lines at an already busy airport. "I think the holidays can be stressful for people anyway, just budget a little extra time."

Government transportation administrators say not only will there be more pat-downs, but they'll be more thorough, going beyond just the chest and stomach to the whole body. Again, those rules take effect on December 22nd, the Thursday before Christmas.

The Transportation Security Administration partial list of items that will and will not be allowed.......

Permitted:

_Scissors with blades 4 inches long or less (New)

_Screwdrivers less than 7 inches long (New)

_Tools less than 7 inches long, including wrenches and pliers (New)

_Knitting needles

_Toy weapons (if not realistic replicas)

_Tweezers

_Nail clippers

_Round-bladed knives and plastic cutlery

_Up to four books of safety matches

Prohibited:

_Box cutters

_Knives

_Tools with cutting edges

_Tools longer than 7 inches

_Lighters

_Bludgeons

_Crowbars

_Hammers

_Saws

_Ice picks

_Throwing stars

_Bows and arrows

_Guns

For more information, check out the TSA website. [pdf file]
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