Cargo on passenger planes to get closer check

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May 02, 2008 04:30 AM
Half of the cargo on U.S. passenger aircraft will be screened by February 2009, with more checks being made away from airports to increase efficiency, a U.S. security agency leader said yesterday.

"We're going to meet that deadline," Kip Hawley, chief of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, said in an interview in London. The procedures will be designed in conjunction with the U.K., European Union, Australia and Canada "to come up with something that's compatible," he said.

All cargo must be screened by August 2010 under a law enacted last year. The TSA, an agency in the Department of Homeland Security, plans to carry out more screening at warehouses. The freight would be loaded onto trucks, which then would be sealed and driven to airports.

U.S. airlines carry about 7,500 tonnes of cargo on passenger planes each day, according to a report by Homeland Security's inspector general last July.

U.S. passenger carriers make about $4.7 billion (U.S.) in revenue annually from carrying cargo.

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