July 15, 2008
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for ensuring the security of all modes of transportation, including cargo placed aboard airplanes, particularly passenger carrying planes.
Approximately 12 million pounds of cargo is transported daily on passenger aircraft. TSA worked with Congress to significantly strengthen security of air cargo through the 9/11 Bill which was signed into law in August 2007. Today, TSA provided an update on progress toward the bill's goals to a Congressional subcommittee.
Measures in place today assure the safety of air cargo on passenger planes through a risk-based, layered security approach. TSA employs 300 transportation security inspectors who are exclusively dedicated to the oversight of air cargo. An additional 150 air cargo inspectors will be added by the end of the year.
In addition, more than 460 TSA-certified canine teams each spend at least 25 percent of their work day in the cargo environment. By the end of the year, TSA will add another 170 canine teams whose primary focus will be cargo.
We are committed to the goal of screening 50 percent of all air cargo on passenger carrying aircraft by February 2009 and 100 percent by August 2010.
Our answer to the challenges of the 9/11 Bill is to enable screening further up the supply chain. Through the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP) participating manufacturing companies, warehouse/third party logistics and indirect air carriers will conduct security screening programs in accordance with TSA guidelines, screening cargo intended for transport on passenger aircraft at several points in the supply chain, including at its origin. Creating a secure chain of custody will keep commerce and freight flowing securely and reduce congestion at airports.
Click here to read Assistant Administrator John Sammon's oral testimony regarding air cargo screening and implementing the requirements of the 9/11 Act.