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Source: Limits easing for sharp objects on planes

From Jeanne Meserve
CNN

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Transportation Security Administration
Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Transportation Security Administration will announce Friday that it will ease restrictions on sharp objects aboard airlines, a Department of Homeland Security official said.

The change in rules, expected to go into effect December 20, will allow for some scissors less than 4 inches long and some tools less than 7 inches long.

The changes are being made to put the focus on explosives, considered the "risk of greatest consequence," according to the source. These can be detected by "puffer machines," which have been deployed to some airports.

Currently, items such as sharp nail scissors and screwdrivers are not allowed on planes. The source attributes the rule change to a "good amount" of screener time devoted to the search for these items.

About half of the nation's 43,000 screeners were trained for some of the new procedures and protocols for explosive detection before Thanksgiving.

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