Friday, July 20, 2007

Lighters on a Plane

Another idiot plan found to be... well stupid:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Screeners at U.S. airports will stop confiscating common cigarette lighters because authorities now consider them a distraction from efforts to find bombs and other threats, officials said on Friday.

The 2005 prohibition was a response to the attempt four years earlier by Briton Richard Reid to bring down an American Airlines jet with a shoe bomb.

Lighters are the most confiscated item at airport security checkpoints -- about 22,000 per day, the Homeland Security Department's Transportation Security Administration said. The number has gone as high as 35,000.

But authorities say security resources need to be focused even more closely in specific areas, most notably bomb detection. The security agency previously has taken steps to reorder screener priorities -- like lifting the ban on small scissors -- to emphasize bomb detection.

"Explosives remain the most significant threat to aviation," Kip Hawley, the TSA administrator, said in a statement.

Congress has permitted the change after initially ordering the lighter ban. It is set to be lifted on August 4.

Smoke if you got 'em.

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