recommended reading

TSA says all cargo on domestic flights now screened

The Transportation Security Administration now screens all cargo loaded on domestic passenger aircraft, but it can't apply the same program to international flights without slowing commerce, a TSA spokesman said on Tuesday.

TSA partnered with the shipping and aviation industry to partially meet a requirement of the 2007 Implementing Recommendation of the 9/11 Commission Act, known as the 9/11 act, to screen all U.S.-bound cargo. The agency announced on Monday that all cargo traveling on domestic and outbound international flights is being screened either by the airlines or by participants in the Certified Cargo Screening Program, which allows specific facilities nationwide to check freight before it reaches an airport.

The agency continues to face challenges screening cargo arriving to the United States from other countries, according to a report the Government Accountability Office released in June.

"To mandate 100 percent international inbound air cargo screening would significantly impact [the flow of] commerce," said Greg Soule, TSA spokesman. "We did not expect to meet the international inbound mandate, but will continue to work with the airlines and international partners to work toward that goal," perhaps by recognizing international screening programs that meet U.S. standards.

All checked passenger baggage has been screened starting shortly after 9/11, and all cargo flying on narrow-body aircraft -- which make up 88 percent of all passenger flights -- has been screened since 2008. The latest milestone applies specifically to cargo that was often placed on pallets and shrink-wrapped and then loaded onto wide-body aircraft. Airlines now mandate that cargo arriving at their facilities not be loaded on pallets and shrink-wrapped unless it has been screened by a participant in the certified cargo screening program. Carriers also have invested in explosive detection systems to screen cargo for bombs, as well as explosive trace detection systems that test cargo for dangerous substances.

Soule said TSA will continue to develop two more initiatives to improve security: the Secure Flight program, which would require airlines to collect passengers' date of birth and gender when they make flight reservations so the agency can compare the information to data stored on the terrorist watch list, and the deployment of imaging technology.

About 160 advanced imaging units toscreen passengers at security checkpoints have been installed in 43 airports, and TSA expects to have placed nearly 500 by the end of the year and another 500 in 2011, Soule said. "Beyond air cargo, which was a significant step forward in aviation security, [these two efforts] have both been significant developments in recent months," he said.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.