ASSA-I Call for a More Stringent and Quality Based Approach to Cargo Security Globally
BRUSSELS, November 3, 2010
BRUSSELS, November 3, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- In light of the recent mail bombs discovered on board of cargo jets in the United Kingdom and Dubai, the Aviation Security Services Association International (ASSA-I) is calling for the quality of the screening methods used for cargo, on both freight planes and passenger flights, to be enhanced across the globe.
In the United States, new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules that took effect in August 2010 require that every piece of cargo should be checked for explosives. However, these rules do not cover goods coming in from the European Union (EU) and other third countries. Furthermore, similar rules do not exist currently in the EU. Since August 2010, U.S. aviation officials have been pressing the EU to require the X-raying of every package placed on passenger planes, however to date this call has been met with resistance because of the costs and logistics involved in screening of this magnitude.
In relation to the recent bomb scares, ASSA-I General Secretary Hilde De Clerck commented: "ASSA-I stresses the need for a more global and stringent approach to cargo security, based on a high quality approach that combines the installation of the appropriate technology to screen these goods and well trained security guards to handle these technologies adequately. ASSA-I believes that the aviation industry is a global business and there is a need for effective security regimes across the world."
Cargo is increasingly screened by X-ray machines and handheld wands. However, certain X-Ray machines are not an effective tool to screen bulk cargo because of the large size and number of items that need to be inspected. As a consequence, ASSA-I stresses the need to look into alternative screening methods for cargo security, such as explosive detection dogs, which are not yet generally accepted as an effective screening method.
The Aviation Security Services Association - International (ASSA-I) represents the private security companies providing security services at airports and for airlines. The aim of ASSA-I is to defend the interest of the aviation security providers in national, European and International fora and to promote high-quality security services.
A report questioned whether a 2010 deadline will be met to screen all cargo transported on passenger planes in the US.
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