You might ask: how can anyone not be in favor of 100% cargo screening? It’s more security, right? The critical question we should be asking is whether it is enhancing security or is it just creating additional work for cargo handlers and reports for TSA?
Even as our nation is in peril on the economic front, the airline industry is facing onerous unfunded mandates and government taxes that could be crippling. With more jobs disappearing and more businesses failing, this critical industry needs leadership that is well-grounded in understanding the operations and policies that will enable a robust enterprise.
The airline industry in the United States is a significant portion of our critical infrastructure and it is on brink of implosion with little more than the occasional mention in the news. This week United and Continental airlines announced significant reductions in their fleets to try to staunch the financial hemorrhage. Lesser air carriers are fast approaching cessation of operations, while six or seven carriers have already shutdown.
And another one bites the dust…This morning, Denver-based Frontier Airlines announced it was filing for bankruptcy protection – less than 24 hours after Oasis Hong Kong Airlines canceled all flights amid an unexpected liquidation process that became public on Wednesday. Oasis and Frontier are just the latest casualties in what has become a freefall within the rapidly collapsing airline industry.
The TSA got it right – this time anyways! A number of security events have occurred in the airline industry over the past week that warrant mention and evaluation – some of them show sound judgment by TSA and other government agencies while others show that we still have a lot of work to do.
With Congress threatening to force TSA to physically examine every piece of cargo prior to accepting it for transport, the air cargo system faces a near-certain failure. Today’s US aviation industry is fighting for its very survival; industry consolidation will take place as carriers look for cost savings. Jet fuel prices are beyond sustainable levels with the current ticket pricing structure. A Congressional mandate along an apparent misinterpretation of the 9/11 Law to mandate physical screening of every box, may well cause the Perfect Storm that causes the demise of the airline industry.
By Kevin R. McCarthy, Special Guest to Security DeBrief
Board of Advisors, SPADAC Inc.
Scanning 100% of the packages that process through this system is a focus of the 9/11 Bill. Many people interpret this process as being similar to the treatment a traveler’s bag receives at the airport security checkpoint. Logistically, however, this is simply impossible. Implementing the 100% requirement will create a net effect to completely cripple our economy.