U.S. Air Cargo Advance Screening pilots move to next stage
The U.S. Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) pilots have now been ongoing since the attempts out of Yemen in October 2010 to use explosive devices in commercial aviation.
US CBP and TSA work closely with the air freight industry
The initial focus was on the express integrated carriers on shipments destined to the United States. Since then, a close collaborative work between the U.S. government agencies of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the freight forwarding community, air cargo ground handlers and the airlines have worked on developing a way to use data on top of shipment screening to enhance air cargo security.
In parallel to TIACA Air Cargo Forum 2012, several meetings were held focusing on ACAS. Senior representatives from CBP & TSA provided updates on the program and detailed the items under development. The US administration expressed its satisfaction to work so closely with the industry in order to best define how ACAS would work in the different air cargo processes.
Moving to next steps for ACAS
The ACAS pilot was originally focused on the express carriers but efforts are now equally focused on passenger-cargo combination carriers and the all-cargo freighter carriers. Even though the combination carriers are required to provide 100% screening by December 2012, this enhancement of using targeting data could help enhance the current screening method.
Next steps are to continue working closely with CBP & TSA on developing standards for processes and electronic messaging. Protocols are also being developed with live exercises with real shipments in the supply chain that provide actual operational experiences as to how processes and information flows will work between the government and trade.
CBP’s National Targeting Center for Cargo is working closely with other governments in sharing ways to improve computerized risk analysis and how intelligence can be more effectively utilized The collaborative approach between trade and regulators should ensure that the airline community has a voice in helping to shape effective security solutions.