Washington (October 4, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, today applauded committee passage of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Modernization Act. The legislation included provisions banning knives on planes and codifying a pilot program to improve carry-on baggage screening technologies were included in the bill.


“As threats evolve, it is our obligation to modernize our security practices to protect our loved ones in the sky and on the ground,” said Senator Markey. “These provisions will help us adopt the next era of advanced baggage screening technologies, and ensure that we don’t give a boarding pass to dangerous knives on planes.  I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure passage of these important safety and security provisions.”


In September, Senator Markey, Congressmen David P. Joyce (OH-14) and Daniel W. Lipinski (IL-03) introduced legislation banning small knives on planes. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when hijackers used knives and box cutters to hijack four aircraft, the TSA added knives to the prohibited items list.


Senator Markey’s second provision would direct the TSA to carry out a pilot program testing more advanced screening technologies for carry-on luggage.  Currently, TSA uses X-ray screeners for carry-on luggage, which only provides a 2-D image of bag contents. This pilot would test the feasibility of deploying computed tomography screening technologies, which provide a 3-D representation of baggage. These more advanced and sophisticated screening technologies could help TSA detect and forestall threats to our aviation safety.