TSA announces procedural changes at the checkpoint: common lighters no longer banned from carry-ons, breast milk exemption modified

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National Press Release
Friday, July 20, 2007

WASHINGTON – In an effort to concentrate resources on detecting explosive threats, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced it will no longer enforce the ban on common lighters in carry-on luggage. Torch lighters will continue to be banned in carry-ons. The agency collects more than 22,000 lighters a day which represents a high percentage of all prohibited items surrendered at checkpoints nationwide. The measures will be implemented on August 4th.

“Explosives remain the most significant threat to aviation,” said Kip Hawley, TSA administrator. “By enabling our officers to focus on the greatest threats we are using our officers' time and energy more effectively and increasing security for passengers.”

TSA is also modifying the procedures associated with carrying breast milk through security checkpoints. Mothers flying with or without their child will be permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than three ounces as long as it is declared for inspection at the security checkpoint.

The procedural adjustments were developed based on process and effectiveness studies, feedback from the workforce and regular consultation with airports, airlines and other security partners. This marks the third modification to security procedures within the last year. On August 10, 2006, a complete ban on liquids, gels and aerosols was implemented immediately following the thwarted terror plot in the United Kingdom, and the update to those measures permitting travel-size amounts of liquids went into effect in September of 2006.

TSA has notified Congress of these changes and will soon begin training its workforce of 43,000 security officers. The United States previously had been the only nation in the world to prohibit lighters from carry-ons. Lifting this ban is another step in our efforts to harmonize security measures with international partners. Since August 2006, 59 countries around the world have adopted the 3-1-1 standard for liquids, gels and aerosols: three ounce containers, in one clear, zip-top plastic bag and one bag per traveler at the checkpoint.