TIACA presses US on security equipment

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The International Air Cargo Association is calling for the US Transport Security Administration (TSA) to step up its evaluation of new technologies to support the forthcoming cargo screening mandate, scheduled to take effect in August 2010.

Responding to the administration’s Interim Final Rule of Air Cargo Screening, it said that it is concerned that much of the equipment currently certified for use for screening is inadequate and ill-suited for processing palletised air cargo. Existing technologies, the association says, are mostly only appropriate for the passenger screening environment.

Air cargo screening requirements detailed in the IFR rely on existing technologies, notably TSA-approved methods of screening that include x-ray, explosives trace detection, explosives detection systems, explosives detection canine teams, and physical inspection along with verification of the description of the cargo on the shipping manifest.

TIACA chairman Ulrich Ogiermann said: “New technologies geared towards the air cargo environment and capable of screening at the consolidated level are urgently needed. The availability of such technologies could have a significant impact on how the 100 per cent screening threshold is met. We therefore urge TSA to ensure transparency in its review procedures, expedite its evaluation of new technologies and seek to deploy new technologies ahead of the August 2010 deadline.”

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