U.S. airport security seizures drop

The number of items seized from travelers by security agents at 800 U.S. airports has plummeted since 2005, USA Today reported Friday.

Transportation Security Administration screeners seized 6.4 million prohibited items from 760 million U.S. air travelers in 2007, which is down from 16 million items in 2005, the report said.

While TSA spokeswoman Ellen Howe told USA Today part of the decline is better understanding of restrictions among travelers, part of the drop is also associated with loosened policies, the newspaper said.

Late in 2005, the TSA eased restrictions on small scissors and blunt tools and last August lifted a ban on lighters in carry-on baggage. Screeners confiscated 11.6 million lighters in 2006 and 5 million before the ban was lifted last year.

Howe said the most common intercepted items are pocket or hunting knives travelers forget they're carrying. She said about 3,000 of them are confiscated each day.