TSA issues air cargo security rules

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In the first substantial change to air cargo security regulations since before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Transportation Security Administration this week announced comprehensive regulations designed to product the 50,000-plus tons of cargo that move by air daily.

The final air cargo rule makes permanent some practices already in place and requires some new procedures. Major new security measures include:

  • Consolidating about 4,000 private industry “known shipper” lists into a central database that TSA will manage;
  • Requiring background checks of about 51,000 off-airport freight forwarder employees;
  • Extending secure areas of airports to include ramps and cargo facilities, requiring another 50,000 cargo aircraft operator employees to receive full criminal history background checks; and
  • Requiring the employees of more than 4,000 freight forwarders to attend enhanced security training courses developed by TSA.

    To enforce these regulations, TSA is hiring 300 new air cargo inspectors who will be stationed at 102 airports where 95 percent of domestic air cargo originates.