Thursday, November 20, 2003


Cargo planes are now to be randomly searched in an effort to thwart possible terrorist activity:

The US Transportation Security Administration has said that domestic and foreign commercial planes carrying cargo will be subject to random inspections on flights within, into and out of the United States as part of a broader plan to prevent terrorists from using the air transportation system to mount attacks on the United States.

Apparently the plan includes some sort of quota:

The government told cargo and passenger airlines on Monday that they must randomly inspect a certain amount of freight before it is loaded on planes as part of an effort to close security gaps.

Brian Turmail, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration (search), said the agency won't disclose publicly what percentage of cargo must be inspected because of security concerns.

Checks of air freight have been spotty, with some airlines conducting limited inspections and others doing little or nothing. Critics contend that leaves open the possibility terrorists could use packages to sneak explosives or even hijackers aboard planes.

Turmail said the airlines will do the inspections under government supervision. The policy takes effect after Christmas.


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