‘R’ is for reciprocity

In our cover story this month, Payload’s US correspondent takes a look at the impending US deadline for screening 100 per cent of cargo carried on passenger aircraft. Since the mandate was announced in 2007, the requirement has been the talking point of many a conference and conversation around the air cargo world. The mandate […]


In our cover story this month, Payload’s US correspondent takes a look at the impending US deadline for screening 100 per cent of cargo carried on passenger aircraft. Since the mandate was announced in 2007, the requirement has been the talking point of many a conference and conversation around the air cargo world. The mandate was clearly part of a larger knee-jerk by US politicians and security chiefs; an annoying unilateralist foible that the rest of the world has become all-too familiar with.

The idea is not wrong, as unscreened cargo in the bellies of passenger aircraft does represent a gaping security hole. While the US move is a correct one in theory, the process on the other hand has been severely flawed. As American Airlines’ cargo boss Dave Brooks succinctly put it: “The TSA now has to implement a law that is not the right law, well intentioned, but as any supply chain or security professional will tell you, the best way to secure the supply chain is to have a risk-based, target programme. That’s not what we have.

“We are stuck with a law that was emotionally driven, well-intentioned, but without the level of knowledge of how a supply chain works, that we really needed at the time. The good news is that because of the collective work that industry associations did, we have the CCSP programme that is going to make a bad law somewhat better.”