Transport Canada Permits Small Knives on Planes

Transport Canada has amended its restricted items policy to allow the carry of small knives onto domestic and international flights, with the exception of flights destined for the United States.

Beginning November 27th, knives with a blade length of 6 centimeters (2.3 inches) or under will be permissible to carry on board. Razor blades and box cutters of any length remain banned and will be seized at screening checkpoints. Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau says “these changes to screening procedures will bring Canada in line with international standards and our partner countries, while continuing to keep passengers safe.”

Flights into the U.S. are still subject to TSA regulations, which requires that all knives be kept in checked baggage. “To respect our security screening agreement with the United States, knife blades of any length will remain prohibited on flights to the United States through preclearance facilities,” Transport Canada said in an official statement.

The rules that Transport Canada will be adopting are the same ones currently enforced by the European Commission. The European Commission’s guidelines informed the revised standards the TSA intended to implement in 2013, which permitted 6 centimeters or smaller blades onto flights. But plans fell through just three days before they would have gone into effect after a backlash from airline interest and passenger advocacy groups.

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The change in rules opens the door for Canadians to carry tools like the Victorinox Classic SD, Kershaw Pub, and the Spyderco Roadie. Spyderco specifically drew up the Roadie in anticipation of the 2013 TSA guideline changes. But when the initiative failed, Spyderco released the knife anyway. Emerson Knives drew up the TSA-compliant Hummingbird at the same time, although the knife never made it into full production.