AMERICAS: 100% screening deadline won’t be met

The US Department of Homeland Security could be years away from achieving its objective of 100 per cent screening for air cargo carried in the bellies of passenger aircraft. Gale Rossides, acting director of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), told the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee it was feasible to screen all domestic cargo by […]


The US Department of Homeland Security could be years away from achieving its objective of 100 per cent screening for air cargo carried in the bellies of passenger aircraft.

Gale Rossides, acting director of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), told the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee it was feasible to screen all domestic cargo by the 3 August deadline. But the deadline for incoming international flights will be missed, Rossides said, adding that 65 per cent was probably the best the TSA could do by that date for international cargo.

The US imports 1.5 million tonnes of airfreight a year from 97 countries, but Rossides said the biggest challenge is getting cooperation from governments of the 20 countries responsible for almost 85 per cent of the shipments.

The sudden death in December of Ed Kelly, who had been leading the development of cargo security programmes at the TSA for three years and was widely respected within the air cargo industry, has not helped the situation.