WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced the airline industry has met a key requirement of the 9/11 Act by screening 100 percent of air cargo on domestic passenger aircraft.
TSA worked closely with the cargo and aviation industries to fulfill this important Congressional mandate by the Aug. 1, 2010 deadline. TSA continues to utilize 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 has taken another step forward in strengthening the security of air travel," said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. "Screening all cargo on domestic passenger aircraft adds another layer to our already robust security system and ensures that TSA is doing everything possible to ensure the safety of air travel."
TSA is also continuing its work to improve cargo security on passenger flights originating in other countries. TSA requires 100 percent of high risk cargo to undergo security screening and has increased the requirements for overall cargo screening.
"International air cargo is more secure than it has ever been," added Pistole. "TSA continues to work closely with our international partners and is making substantial progress toward meeting the 100 percent mark in the next few years."
To meet the mandate, TSA created the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP), 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.
Prior to the Aug. 1 deadline, over 900 facilities became CCSP certified. This innovative program spreads the cargo screening responsibility, on a voluntary basis, throughout the supply chain to manufacturing facilities and distribution centers. This distributed screening effort has enabled over half of the more than 9 million pounds of cargo loaded onboard passenger-carrying planes each day to be prescreened, avoiding potential bottlenecks at airports.