GAO report: Air cargo security
Despite improvements in airline-passenger and airline-baggage security made after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S., the same upgrades haven't happened for cargo transported in the hulls of most passenger aircraft, according to a recent General Accounting Office report cited in The Wall Street Journal. Despite a new emphasis on aviation security, "few changes have been made to air cargo security," the GAO report said.
Most of the estimated $12 billion of air cargo shipped annually isn't screened for explosives, the GAO said. It noted that about 22 percent of total air cargo is carried in the hulls of passenger aircraft. In fact, the report said, about half of the hulls of most passenger planes are filled with cargo. Companies such as FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. ship the remainder of air cargo.
U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the GAO report. They also have reintroduced a bill aimed at beefing up air cargo security, The Wall Street Journal said.
The Transportation Security Administration, the new government agency created to oversee airline security after Sept. 11, has been charged with improving both passenger and cargo screening.
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