Americas: 100 per cent cargo scanning begins

The US Homeland Security Department has launched a test of its 100 percent scanning operation this week at Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC. All incoming air cargo passed through radiation detectors as the agency implements laws designed to avert what the 9/11 Commission’s final report called a major security vulnerability – cargo on airplanes […]


100 per cent cargo scanning US Homeland Security Department


The US Homeland Security Department has launched a test of its 100 percent scanning operation this week at Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC.

All incoming air cargo passed through radiation detectors as the agency implements laws designed to avert what the 9/11 Commission’s final report called a major security vulnerability – cargo on airplanes as a potential avenue for terrorism.

In the test at Dulles, every piece will be scanned, but the emphasis is on international cargo, DHS said.

By the end of the year, four more airports will be equipped with Radiation Portal Monitors, at a cost of US$450,000 each, installed. DHS plans eventually to install the detectors at 30 of the nation’s largest airports.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa Cargo said it would install explosive trace detection systems at all Lufthansa destinations in the US by the end of September.

That puts the German carrier well ahead of congressionally mandated inspection requirements which state that by February 2009, half of all cargo transported on passenger planes must be screened. A full 100 per cent of cargo must be checked by August 2010.

Harald Zielinski, Lufthansa Cargo’s security chief, said the carrier is investing “single-digit million euros” in the systems, which will be able to detect various types of explosives concealed within shipments.