AMERICAS: Air cargo screening problems persist: GAO

A US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report notes that the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is still contending with issues reported last June that could affect the agency’s ability to meet an end-of-year deadline for screening all international cargo on passenger aircraft. “As of March 2011, TSA officials stated that current screening percentages are based […]


A US Government Accountability Office (GAO) report notes that the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is still contending with issues reported last June that could affect the agency’s ability to meet an end-of-year deadline for screening all international cargo on passenger aircraft. “As of March 2011, TSA officials stated that current screening percentages are based on actual data reported by air carriers, but stated that it is difficult to verify the accuracy of the screening data reported by air carriers,” the report says. “Given that TSA now plans to meet the 9/11 Commission Act screening mandate as it applies to inbound air cargo by December 2011, it will be important for TSA to have complete and accurate data in hand to verify that this mandate is being met.” Auditors reaffirmed their concern that the Transportation Security Administration lacks means to scan air cargo stored inside pallets or containers. “This is particularly important because, as we reported in June 2010, about 96 per cent of inbound air cargo arrives on wide-body aircraft, and TSA has limited authority to oversee the screening activities of foreign governments or entities,” the report’s authors wrote.