The notoriously strict airport security in the United States is about to get a little easier.
Starting in April, small knives and previously banned sporting equipment such as ski poles and billiard cues will be allowed in the cabin.
At a time of reducing budgets the move is intended to allow security screeners to better focus on finding items which pose a greater threat, as Stephen Sapp, of US Customs and Border Protection explains:
“Our officers are trained on what to look for inside suitcases or around people. So our officers are willing to find it themselves or we will use technology like an x-ray to find the dense anomaly inside the suitcase.”
The recent drastic spending cuts in the federal budget have resulted in long lines at security checkpoints, along with overworked staff. One immigration officer said:
“Today, it’s supposed to be eight hours, but I am on overtime right now. So, nine hours and counting.”
Our US correspondent, Stefan Grobe, who was at Washington Dulles airport said:
“So far, the latest severe budget cuts haven’t had any impact on airport security operations. And officials here believe that this will not significantly change. But, of course, on this the US Congress has the last word.”