N6376m From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1839 times:
I am. To me this is the absolute biggest threat to airline safety. All this BS about someone hijacking another jet is absurd. Everyman, woman and child would fight to the death to ensure that a hijacker did not gain access to the cockpit.
I'd go as far as saying that they'd get "THIS IS A HIJAC......." out before several people started to kick their asses. An explosive device either in cargo or carried onto the aircraft has to be the next attack of choice. Given that security screenings for passangers are getting better (at least more intensive [though they still leave a lot to be desired]), cargo hold freight is my biggest worry.
Plus, think of the disruption to global trade that would be caused if belly cargo was banned as a result of a successful attack.
JBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4491 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1830 times:
N6376M hit the nail right on the head IMHO.
In addition to that, there is generally much less security on cargo ramps. I don't know how it is at sorting hubs, but generally at outstations security is much more lax, especially with the non-scheduled flights. A terrorist could easily walk up to some large cargo aircraft, and, if they were knowledgeable enough, get them into the air with little or no warning time. Sure fighters would be scrambled, but depending on location, sometimes five minutes is all it takes.
UNN1011 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 23 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1807 times:
Right on target N6376M! During the past five years I've been employed in ground ops at a major airline in MSP and cargo airline at ATL enabling access to all sectors of the airport(s), plus one point five years with the TSA as a mobile UC security specialist. I feel that the lack of cargo screening is the greatest vulnerability in the current "comprehensive" screening system.
I've been advocating this concern to relevant folks even prior to nine eleven. The lack of action by the TSA is the exclusive reason I resigned from the organization, and focused on PROACTIVE security consulting with airlines and cargo operators.
Can you imagine the horror and destruction of an IED smuggled aboard a 744 freighter that detonates amid pallets containing twenty tons of TNT? That's just one scenario. The most lucrative cargo in transit is not flowers from Columbia, water from Fiji, or salmon from Scotland. It's HAZMAT, period. All kinds of chemically dangerous stuff. And what about the possibility of a terrorist shipping a device containing nuclear material?
Homeland Security screens cargo modules at ports and border crossings with sophisticated xray technology and other detection methods, but why not pallets boarding an aircraft? And what about the belly pallet prepared in airline cargo that is eventually loaded aboard a passenger jet?
Something ugly WILL happen unless drastic cargo screening upgrades are immediately implemented. A good start is to hound your congressional representatives to enact laws mandating positive action in this field. Contact the airlines and local airport managers. Write or call the Department of Homeland Security and demand answers to your important questions and issues with current policy. Put everybody on the spot that has an investment in the industry...there is no logical reason for complacency or available loopholes in the system. So why do they exist even though nobody except a terrorist desires round two of nine eleven?
Artsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 34
Reply 5, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1780 times:
There are a few points that some of you are not taking into consideration with the lack of airline screening of the cargo. Cargo that goes on airliners can only come from I believe a handful of cargo operators. Those operators have fairly rigorous screening rules. While the media tries to portay otherwise, A terrorist nutjob cannot walk up to United airlines and send cargo via them. Only a handful of operators are allowed to ship cargo on the airlines. This is obviously not the case for the cargo airlines, but it is the case for the passenger airlines.
C17Glbm From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1771 times:
I somewhat agree with Artsyman. The cargo security has been pretty good as far as I've seen. However, you (not speaking to anyone specifically) cannot disregard those few loop wholes that are still out there and at some airports pretty apparent.
Nlink From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1746 times:
It is hard to without an account ship directly on an airline, but if you go to a freight fowarder, they will accept it from almost anyone, and they say they screen it, which is utter BS. The freight fowarders are the biggest gap in cargo security, as they just sign there letter saying it was screened, as you know it wasn't because it is still in factory packing. This has been noted to government employees, TSA and FAA in the past and current and they don't seem to care as these groups wine to congress threating to vote them out and TSA/FAA back/backed off constantly.
Ha763 From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 3663 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1743 times:
Just to let you all know in addition to all the currents regs for shipping cargo, a new directive effective this month requires at least 10% of cargo to be screened, either by x-ray or hand searched by the airline.
UNN1011 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 23 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1730 times:
Absolutely not true Artsyman...this is a very dangerous posture to assume in light of the serious discussion here.
There is a "known shipper" concept in the industry, and that can include even shipping a one pound parcel in a sealed VIP box on various commercial and cargo airlines by even you or your neighbor over a documented period of time, which btw, is not that long. The criteria to become one of these "known shippers" does not involve some intricate clearinghouse from the DHS. Time is on the terrorists side...they can manipulate the system quite easily through existing procedures and diligence. I'm not trying to be some smartypants here, I'm just saying there are ways, simple ways, to destroy an airliner tomorrow via one of these shipping programs.
If you are still in doubt, call AA, UAL, DAL, NWA Friday and inquire as to what is necessary to become a known shipper, specifically unaccompanied pet kennel shipments (NWA) on a 757-351 flying into, let's say, LAX. I think you'll be shocked...
Squad55 From Canada, joined Nov 2001, 258 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 9 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 1715 times:
If they made a bomb and shipped it on fedex. Fedex loads it into a can, and puts it on the plane. If they had heavy objects in the can could that lessen the effects of the bomb? Are cargo cans very strong?