Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Study: TSA May Come Up Short on Cargo Checks

(USA Today – Thomas Frank)

A plan to check every package of business cargo for explosives before it is loaded onto passenger airplanes faces major obstacles, according to a government report scheduled for release Wednesday.

The report by Congress’ Government Accountability Office says the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may not have enough inspectors nor adequate equipment to guarantee all cargo is checked for bombs.

The report, scheduled to be presented at a hearing Wednesday, raises questions about whether TSA will meet an August 2010 deadline set by Congress to guarantee that all cargo carried on passenger planes is being screened. The TSA and cargo groups “face a number of challenges in meeting the screening mandate,” the report says.

Most cargo screening will be done by private entities at warehouses and plants where goods are loaded into boxes. TSA inspection teams will oversee the screening, but the agency may not have enough inspectors by August 2010, the report says. Read more here.