After the destruction of Pan American World Airways Flight 103 in 1988, the government established the Commercial Aircraft Vulnerability and Mitigation (CAVM) program to address terrorist-based internal aircraft explosive threats. In 2006, the program transferred to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), with program execution supported by subject matter experts from S&T’s Transportation Security Laboratory.
Air Cargo Security
The Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) established the Air, Land and Port of Entry Security Program to advance technologies to improve mission effectiveness to reduce illegal entry/exit of people, weapons, dangerous goods, and contraband.
The Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T’s) Baggage/Cargo/People Screening program conducts screening, detection, and mitigation R&D to detect explosives and prohibited items at airports and in air cargo.
S&T invests in research and development technologies, methods, and procedures to enhance the physical security of the nation’s critical infrastructure, which includes our air travel system, mass transportation systems, and soft targets such as mass public gatherings.
Air Cargo skids and pallets take up a large amount of space on every commercial passenger flight. Federal law requires this cargo be screened at the same level as checked baggage.
Written testimony of CBP for a joint House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation and House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border & Maritime Security hearing titled “Prevention of Smuggling at U.S. Ports”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations Executive Assistant Commissioner Todd Owen addresses the role of CBP in maritime cargo security.
Since the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, the TSA must ensure that 100 percent of cargo on all passenger flights in the United States is screened. To assist, the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is characterizing the air cargo environment (cargo, contamination and facilities), assessing new and modified screening systems, and developing new and advanced screening and detection tools and technologies. New technologies must screen more effectively without impacting the efficient flow of air cargo.