AfA urges alignment of international standards for air cargo security
26 / 04 / 2023
(right to left) Howard Stone, Vice President Global Programs, UPS Corporate Aviation Security; Brandon Fried, Executive Director, Airforwarders Association; Ilan Biton, Consultant, Enabling Insight; James Lobello, Head of Security - The Americas, Lufthansa and Chair, IATA Cargo Security Working Group; Darren Hart, Deputy Director Data Strategies, Capabilities and Oversight and Detection Services Portfolio at UK Border Force
The global air cargo industry must align its cargo security programs and push for a more risk-based approach to screening if it is to maintain secure supply chains.
That was the message from Brandon Fried, executive director of the Airforwarders Association (AfA), when addressing World Cargo Symposium delegates at IATA’s air cargo security panel session.
“We must present a united front for the global transport industry, despite our sometimes disparate goals across the various segments of the supply chain, to streamline regulations in order to help foster cost-effective trade,” said Fried.
“The more we align, the simpler our lives will become, but we need to continue to push for this alignment. That’s why AfA engages with other associations as well as global regulators at every opportunity to make sure our voice is heard.”
When asked if he saw a lack of harmonization across global markets for aviation security, Fried highlighted a discord between global aviation security programs, citing IATA’s recently implemented Preloading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI) program in the European Union (EU), which mirrors the US Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) program.
With regulatory demands set to increase over the next five years, Fried said he expects to see increasing focus on tackling cybersecurity issues, as well as greater emphasis on employee background checks and more stringent minimum standards.
Despite these expected increases in regulation, Fried said the AfA will continue to push for a more ‘risk-based’ approach to air cargo security.
Said Fried: “Our industry has done a great job over the past 15 years since putting the 9/11 Commission Act in place, which has led to a ‘shorter leash’ regarding inspection, compliance, and enforcement – but we must continue to meet these high expectations to avoid facing greater challenges.”
He continued: “We hope to see new and better screening technology approved, such as advanced CT X-ray, as well as the wider use of canines as an efficient and effective cargo screening method.”
AfA also hopes to see the widespread adoption of EU canine screening programs which are capable of screening larger configurations of cargo.
As the regulatory landscape changes, Fried said that the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be focusing on compliance more than ever and AfA is working collaboratively with them towards enhancements in this area.
He added: “AfA members are currently working with TSA on a roadmap for security and a key part of our efforts is to map the air cargo supply chain to help the untrained and inexperienced regulatory policy makers to fully understand all the nuances of our seemingly simple but quite complicated industry,”
“We are pushing to better align all US cargo security programs, and encouraging the TSA to help promote the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP) within the shipper community.”