Magazine article National Defense

Cargo Screening Deadline Not Feasible, Hawley Says

Magazine article National Defense

Cargo Screening Deadline Not Feasible, Hawley Says

Article excerpt

A PROPOSED THREE YEAR deadline to physically inspect every piece of cargo loaded aboard airliners is impossible, the head of the Transportation Security Administration told senators.

"Any mandate to physically inspect 100 percent of air cargo within three years is not feasible without impeding the legitimate flow of commerce and imposing an unreasonable cost on the government," DHS Assistant Secretary Kip Hawley told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

Legislation requiring that all cargo be screened is expected to wind its way through Congress this year. Lawmakers have asked why cargo loaded aboard airliners doesn't undergo the same scrutiny as checked bags and passengers.

Transportation security is high on the now Democratic-controlled committee's priority list. Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, called Hawley to Capitol Hill for its first hearing of the new session. A surface transportation security hearing followed the next day.

"The TSA must work with Congress to make certain extensive [air cargo] screening becomes a reality in the near term," Inouye said. …

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