Summary: This GAO report reviews the recent progress of the US air cargo security scheme. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the main agency responsible for the US air cargo security, has been working towards the implementation of the 100% screening requirements of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. So far TSA has set up a voluntary Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP) to allow trusted logistics operators to screen air cargo outside congested airports, launched a program for testing technologies for air cargo screening and expanding its program for approving explosive detection dog teams. The main obstacle in meeting the 100% screening requirement is that TSA has no reliable mechanism for verifying screening data from domestic foreign screening operators, which self-report the data. TSA also struggles in finding resources to employ as many transport security inspectors as it is required to oversee the Certified Cargo Screening Program. The report also points out that the current technologies that TSA has approved for cargo screening cannot screen large cargo units – pallets or unit loading devices (ULDs) – and this incapability reduces speed and cost-efficiency of air cargo screening. Overall, this GAO document provides a general outlook on state and challenges the US air cargo security regime, and therefore those CORE demonstrations that focus on the US-bound or US-origin air transport should consider the report as a key source material. The report is available for download at: www.gao.gov/assets/130/125678.pdf.
Full review: This document is relevant for the CORE demonstrations that involve air transportation into or through or from the US. Especially the DHL demo, that concentrates on shipping of military aircraft parts from the US to Spain, is affected by the TSA’s programs and initiatives that the report analyses. The report is very concise and informative, so it might be beneficial to the CORE’s educational and training activities.
- GAO, Aviation Security: Federal Coordination for Responding to In-flight Security Threats Has Matured, but Procedures Can Be Strengthened, (Washington, D.C.: July 31, 2007).
- GAO, Aviation Security: Transportation Security Administration May Face Resource and other Challenges in Developing a System to Screen All Cargo Transported on Passenger Aircraft
- GAO, Aviation Security: Federal Efforts to Secure U.S.-Bound Air Cargo Are in the Early Stages and Could Be Strengthened, GAO-07-660 (Washington, D.C.: April 2007).
- GAO, Aviation Security: Progress Made in Systematic Planning to Guide Key Investment Decisions, but More Work Remains, GAO-07-448T (Washington, D.C.: February 13, 2007).
Additional keywords: Air cargo security, 100% screening, Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP)