TSA wants companies to test technology

The Transportation Security Administration is seeking more companies to participate in its Air Cargo Screening Technology pilot program that will evaluate the effectiveness of cargo-screening technologies.

TSA is testing the equipment and processes as it works to meet deadlines for an air cargo screening system laid out in a law passed in 2007. That statute required TSA to establish a system to screen 50 percent of all cargo transported on passenger aircraft by Feb. 3, 2009, and 100 percent of that cargo by Aug. 3, 2010.

TSA’s objectives for the pilot program are to determine abilities to screen high volumes of cargo, test chain of custody procedures and to measure the effectiveness of screening technologies on various commodity classes, the agency said.

On Nov. 28, TSA issued its second broad agency announcement that invited companies to participate in a program that will test TSA-recommended screening technologies such as Advanced Technology X-Ray and Explosive Trace Detection tools. The first announcement was issued in February and some companies have volunteered to participate.

To meet the eventual requirement of 100 percent screening, TSA is designing a program called the Certified Cargo Screening Program that will focus on key supply chain participants to employ security measures. Each participant in the voluntary program will be required to demonstrate compliance with increased security standards for information technology, personnel, procedures and facilities.

To participate, companies must become a Certified Cargo Screening Facility (CCSF). For the pilot, TSA is looking for additional CCSFs that are indirect air carriers -– or organizations that do not have a certificate to serve as an air carrier themselves but that engage indirectly in the air transportation of property by using a passenger air carrier.

To participate in the pilot, companies will also need to be located within 25 miles of one of 18 major high-volume airports and meet certain volume requirements.

Participants will get TSA funds to purchase or lease the screening tools but will also be responsible for covering the costs of training employees, the agency said.

The deadline for applying is Dec. 29.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.