TSA bails out on 100% screening deadline

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has told the air cargo industry it will not meet the 31 December deadline requiring inspection of 100 per cent of all air cargo on international passenger flights destined for the US. The TSA told the US Airforwarders Association that it would not enforce the deadline, but also did not say whether it was being scrapped altogether.


100% screening ACAS Air Cargo Advance Screening Programme Airforwarders Association Brandon Fried Brian Lovell Certified Cargo Screening Program David Fielder FAPAA FIATA Transportation Security Administration TSA


The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA)  has told the air cargo industry it will not meet the 31 December deadline requiring inspection of  100 per cent of all air cargo on international passenger flights destined for the US. The TSA told the US Airforwarders Association that it would not enforce the deadline, but also did not say whether it was being scrapped altogether.

The cargo inspection deadline has changed on several occasions. As originally mandated by Congress, the TSA was to set up a system for inspecting cargo, or require airlines to inspect cargo, by August 2010. But while the TSA met that goal for passenger flights originating within the US, the deadline has been considerably more difficult to achieve with inbound international passenger flights, which carry about 2.7 million tonnes of cargo a year.

The TSA acknowledged it would likely take until 2013 to set up a system of cargo inspection for international flights, but after the Yemen-originated attempt to bomb two cargo aircraft in October last year with explosives hidden in printer tonner cartridges, the TSA moved up the deadline to the end of 2011. 

The TSA’s decision to postpone or possibly scrap the deadline was “no surprise,” said Brandon Fried, executive director of the Airforwarders Association. Fried said the TSA had told the industry that of the 197 countries with flights to the US, the TSA had signed agreements with only three, with another 20 in the pipeline. Those countries represent about 80 per cent of the air cargo to the US, Fried said.