Small pocketknives and an array of sporting equipment -- banned from aircraft cabins in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- will once again be allowed in U.S. planes, the head of the Transportation Security Administration said Tuesday.
Knives with blades that are 2.36 inches (6 centimeters) or shorter and less than a 1/2 inch wide will be permitted on U.S. airline flights as long as the blade is not fixed or does not lock into place. Razor blades and box cutters are still not permitted.
Two golf clubs, toy bats or other sports sticks -- such as ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks or pool cues -- will also be allowed in carry-on luggage.
Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole said the changes will take effect April 25 and will bring the United States into alignment with international rules.
Some security experts say security improvements since the attacks -- most notably reinforced cockpit doors, better intelligence and motivated passengers -- have made the strict prohibition of small pen-knives unnecessary.