US screening a burden

AN aviation association will lobby the US government financial aid to implement the escalating screening of cargo into the country.

As of 1 February, half of all belly-hold cargo shipments must be screened, but from next year this will go up to all cargo.

“The 50 per cent [mandate] is not going to be a hardship for the industry,” said Brandon Fried, executive director of the Airforwarders Association, but next year’s 100 per cent mandate will be a “major challenge”, especially for palletised cargo, that might require funding from Congress. He suggests that the cost will run up to US$4 billion over the next ten years.

The Transportation Security Administration has already ruled that from October last year airlines using narrow-body planes must screen all cargo.

Asa Hutchinson, chairman of the Safe Commerce Coalition and the first Homeland Security undersecretary for border and transportation security said that the 100 per cent mandate is “a burden being placed on an industry that is struggling.”

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