NEWS

Report : TSA Lax on Cargo Security

by Teresa Anderson, senior editor

A report by the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Inspector General contends that the agency's policies are making it easier to place explosives or other dangerous items in cargo carried aboard passenger aircraft.

According to the report, which is based on an investigation carried out by the TSA Inspector General, cargo screening is often ineffective because many carriers are exempt from screening. Further, the report notes that TSA does not provide sufficient resources to inspect carrier operations to determine whether they are meeting compliance requirements to allow them to bypass regular screening.

The report concludes that the facilities where cargo is held are often vulnerable. In the investigation, the inspector general found that unauthorized personnel walked freely around these warehouses and employees were not required to display IDs.

According to the report, the TSA inspections of air carriers and airports were often inconsistent. Further, TSA security requirements were not clearly written, thus airports and air carriers often interpreted the regulations differently.

The report recommends that security regulations be rewritten and that the TSA conduct training on the requirements for all TSA inspectors. Other recommendations include fully funding the inspection program and implementing a quality control system.  

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