TSA, NIT LEAGUE MEET TO DISCUSS AIR SECURITY RULES
The “known shipper” program and other air cargo security operations could undergo procedural changes, according to the National Industrial Transportation League.
In a meeting in Washington, officials from the Transportation Security Administration briefed NIT League leaders about the possible procedural changes.
Peter Gatti, NIT League's vice president of international relations, said the TSA held the meeting to get input from industry. He said he hoped the meeting would be the first of many in which the TSA will hear from industry while the agency establishes new rules, or enhances existing ones.
The meeting was coordinated and attended by Gatti and Jeff Lehman, president of Transecon Associates, and chairman of the NIT League’s air transportation committee.
“They’re doing a lot of listening, and that’s the only way to accomplish what industry agrees is necessary,” Gatti said. Work between industry and the TSA officials was important to implement the safest and most efficient air cargo system while meeting the industry’s needs, he added.
TSA officials said they are examining what increased security measures shippers might take to ensure the integrity of packages tendered to indirect or direct carriers. Such changes could include certified background checks on shipping personnel responsible for loading or tendering shipments, the NIT League said. Such a program could also allow companies that comply with this program to receive a special designation that would facilitate their shipments that board aircraft.
TSA officials also want to examine “directed shipments,” or shipments that are sometimes created by mail order business, or company suppliers involved in returning merchandise.
The NIT League said the TSA is considering creating an authorization system for air cargo, which would involve codes similar to those that approve credit card transactions. The TSA officials hope the system would permit cargo to be traced and would identify all parties in the transport chain.
Gatti said the TSA welcomes input from industry on any new rules that may be enacted, and encouraged participants from industry to contact NIT League to attend an upcoming meeting with TSA officials.