RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As more airlines add flights at Raleigh Durham International, wait times at screening areas are increasing at certain times of day while more and more banned items are found at TSA checkpoints.
Tuesday, the TSA set up a display of banned items that were confiscated at RDU in the last three weeks. It looked like your local hardware store.
There were hammers, a trowel, wire snips, a power drill and all kinds of other tools — along with a belt decorated with bullets, and knives of all shapes and sizes.
The items were surrendered to the TSA at RDU checkpoints.
Pointing to a large hammer, TSA Spokesperson Sari Koshetz said, “you don’t want the person sitting next to you to have these items.”
Most passengers agreed when consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia showed them the video of intercepted banned items.
“You can’t take any of that stuff up there — especially hammers,” said Kayla Williams. “That stuff is dangerous and that’s the only reason they take it.”
But some passengers looking at those same banned items asked ‘what’s the problem?’
“A lot of those tools don’t frighten me at all,” said departing traveler Marke Rose.
He said he wouldn’t mind if those item were in the carry-on luggage of the person sitting next to him on an aircraft.
He said the only thing he worries about is guns.
“I wouldn’t want a gun,” he said.
On display Tuesday, TSA had a pair of airsoft or BB guns. They look real but they aren’t.
Yet real guns are making their way into checkpoints at RDU and being intercepted in greater numbers than before.
The TSA says in the last three years at RDU attempts to bring guns on airplanes have increased significantly.
In 2017 – 52 guns were confiscated
In 2018 – 66 Guns were confiscated
In 2019 (as of June) – 26 guns were confiscated
“We’re on a pattern of exceeding every single year’s numbers,” said Koshetz. “That’s because so many people travel Thanksgiving and Christmas, our numbers escalate.”
With so many more airlines adding flights, wait times are increasing during key travel times like early mornings.
Meanwhile, the TSA says it’s now paying closer attention to screening electronics.
“We want to give an extra look at anything larger than a cellphone at this point,” said Koshetz. “We know terrorists are trying to perfect putting enough explosives in a small item to bring a plane down.”
The TSA also continues to enforce its limitations on liquids in carry-on baggage.
Travellers are only allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in carry-on bag and through the checkpoint.
These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces or less per item. A detailed explanation can be found here.
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