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"Secure cargo along with passengers"

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Secure cargo along with passengers
By Matt Andersson
USA Today

Aviation security is indeed in a very imperfect state. If airports are to be
secure zones, then all elements of airport operations, including all human
and material activity, must be subject to verification. USA TODAY's recent
article, however, does not mention one of the most serious flaws in aviation
security: the treatment of air freight on passenger flights. 

Three million tons of cargo travel along with passengers in the holds of
airplanes each year. The cargo is "screened" under the "known shipper"
database, but virtually none of it receives any electronic screening, as
passengers' bags do. 

While passengers stand in security lines, each day thousands of packages
that faced no actual security inspection are speeding along to passengers'
awaiting flights. And related vendors, employees, suppliers and others move
throughout the entire airport unchallenged.

Security remains in serious neglect, not only at airport operations but
across many other critical transportation modes - including trucking,
containerization and commuter and long-distance rail.

Where is the longest security delay? U.S. Congress.

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