Thursday, August 5, 2010

100% Air Cargo Screening Requirement Met, TSA Says

(World Trade Interactive)

The Transportation Security Administration announced this week that it met the Aug. 1 deadline for screening 100% of air cargo carried on domestic passenger aircraft, as required by the 9/11 Act. TSA is also continuing its work to improve cargo security on passenger flights originating in other countries, requiring 100% of high-risk cargo to undergo security screening and having increased the requirements for overall cargo screening. A TSA press release notes that these steps are part of the agency’s continuing utilization of a multi-layered approach to air cargo security, including procedures for known and established shippers to ship cargo on domestic passenger aircraft, deploying explosive detection canine teams and conducting covert tests and no-notice inspections of cargo operations.

TSA notes that to meet the 100% screening mandate it created the Certified Cargo Screening Program, which allows certified facilities across the country to screen cargo before it reaches the airport. CCSP facilities must be approved by TSA and adhere to strict security standards, including physical access controls, personnel security and screening of prospective employees and contractors. A secure chain of custody must also be established from the screening facility to the aircraft.

TSA states that prior to the Aug. 1 deadline over 900 facilities became CCSP certified. As a result, over half of the more than nine million pounds of cargo loaded onboard passenger-carrying planes each day is prescreened, thus helping to avoid potential bottlenecks at airports.