New US security rules will be a squeeze, says TIACA chief

The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) is urging its members to pay close attention to the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA)’s new freighter security plans and to make their views known if they feel there could be any problems.
With the TSA’s updated Security Programs for all-cargo/freighter aircraft not published until just before New Year on December 29 and an implementation date of February 16, the timescale for such a major raft of changes is uncomfortably tight, says TIACA secretary general Doug Brittin.
He told Air Cargo News: “This is a massive document and we want to make sure that everyone is aware of the planned changes. We are concerned at the timing of the document’s release over the holidays.”
The timing of changes to security procedures was often an issue, not only from the TSA but from other US regulators, he said. It was not unknown for amendments issued on Friday to have to be implemented the following Monday, he stated.
The freight industry needs to read and digest the latest freighter program, he said, adding: “If there is anything you feel to be a challenge please let your TSA representative know.” TIACA recommends that members get in touch as soon as possible, to avoid any compliance issues.
Brittin said that the TSA periodically issues new security programs for different segments of the industry; in some cases, the document formally incorporates changes in procedures that have been made “on the fly” in the face of developing events – such as the Yemen cartridge bomb incident – as well as other changes to policies and procedures and as such the new security programs are often large and complex documents.
Changes for forwarders or handlers dealing with several airlines would be even more complex, and there could well be implications for staff training, Brittin added. He refused to be drawn on the detail of the changes, saying that they were sensitive security information.
Meanwhile, TIACA was continuing to work closely with the TSA on building a risk-based rather than a “one size fits all” approach to global air cargo security. “We have had a lot of discussions in that area, but it’s still an ongoing issue,” he said.
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