Reacting to the Transportation Security Administration’s recent decision to allow small knives back on planes, Delta Air Lines’ CEO Richard Anderson complained that the decision adds little value to passengers and increases safety risks.
In a letter addressed to TSA Administrator John Pistole, Anderson wrote that though the Atlanta-based carrier has a strong relationship with the TSA, he disagreed with the agency’s recent decision and shared the “legitimate concerns” of flight attendants.
“We continue to support a risk-based approach to security,” he wrote. “However, we must object to the agency decision to allow small knives in the aircraft cabin.”
Pistole said earlier this week at an aviation security conference in New York that the TSA will allow small pocket knives and certain sporting goods on planes.
The move came following a recommendation by a TSA working group that such items were not a security threat. The move will conform to international rules that currently allow the small knives and sporting goods.
In his letter, Anderson pointed out that small knives have been banned from commercial planes for the past 11 years, and argued there are more effective ways to streamline checkpoint flow.
The Flight Attendants Union Coalition, which represents the 90,000 flight attendants on carriers nationwide, has called the announcement allowing small knives “poor and shortsighted.”
The policy, which also allows items such as souvenir baseball bats and golf clubs on board aircrafts, is set to go into effect April 25.
Razor blades and box-cutters like those used by the 9/11 terrorists will still be banned.
ABC News’ Serena Marshall contributed to this report.