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Poor screening placing US air cargo security in a spot

November 14, 2010 - Washington

There is reportedly a gaping hole in aviation security, a hole so big about one billion pounds of cargo fly right through it every year, cargo on passenger planes coming into this country that never gets inspected.

"To the extent it's not screened, we believe that represents a potential vulnerability," CBS News quoted Stephen Lord, director at the Government Accountability Office, as saying.

Lord is the author of the revealing report on air cargo security released in June, where he found that "a significant percentage" of inbound cargo on passenger planes is "not required" to be screened.

There remains "no technology approved" to screen large pellets and containers in a way that meets federal standards. While the TSA estimates 65 percent of inbound cargo is screened, the report found that estimates "are not based on actual data," the report said.

The air cargo industry has resisted 100 percent inspection. The report says that screening must be "accomplished in a manner that allows for the free flow of commerce."


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