On Monday, the Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association, Brandon Fried, testified before the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Security, at a Field Hearing in Boston, Massachusetts.

The special hearing, entitled, “Promoting Safe Skies through Scanning and Screening: Oversight of Air Cargo Security,” was convened by Senator Edward J. Markey to discuss air cargo security topics at Boston Logan International Airport. Industry experts were called as witnesses to examine specific topics such as oversight of certified cargo screening facilities, screening technology, and the efficiency of the global supply chain. The full list of witnesses included:

  • John Beckius, Executive Director, Air Cargo Division, Transportation Security Administration
  • Edward Freni, Director of Aviation, Massachusetts Port Authority
  • Brandon Fried, Executive Director, Airforwarders Association
  • Jennifer Ritter, Flight Attendant, United Airlines, on behalf of Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO
  • Steve Urchuk, Chief Technology Officer, Analogic

Testimony from the Airforwarders Association provided the freight forwarders perspective on air cargo oversight by the TSA, especially regarding the Indirect Air Carrier Program. Brandon Fried outlined the progress and benefits of the Certified Cargo Screening Program, which has served a successful cornerstone for air cargo screening for almost 10 years, demonstrating a supply chain solution to a significant security challenge. He also highlighted industry-supported initiatives such as Third-Party Canine Program (3PK9), citing the tremendous impact they have on cargo screening efficiency. Brandon’s testimony underscored how non-governmental screening programs have proven to be a critical element in effective global air cargo security, and clearly stated what action is needed to support these initiatives in the future including: new technology, increased communication and access to resources, and updated and clarified regulations to ensure consistent interpretation and implementation industry-wide.

“It’s a great honor to present the thoughts, concerns and viewpoints of the forwarding community in this prestigious forum,” said Brandon Fried, Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association. “Following the witness testimony today, we hope that TSA will continue to certify more modern screening technology, and prioritize alleviating confusion caused by inconsistencies in its own policy interpretations. Security deteriorates when operators do not have a clear understanding of regulations due to inconsistencies and with increased clarity and communication, this is a risk factor we can reduce together. We urge Congress to maintain adequate funding of TSA, so the agency may continue its support for air cargo security, and further development of critical security solutions.”