New set of rules have been implemented by the US Transport Security Administration for five Muslim-majority nations. Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The decision was made after intelligence gathered information indicating a potential bomb attack. The Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) which before was voluntary, will now become mandatory for all flights departing from those countries.
Airlines that will be affected by these changes will need to inform US authorities of all intended cargo carrying in advance. Shipping records will be a huge help in pointing authorities towards anomalies.
Although all cargo for commercial flights undergo security screening, the new procedure will help identify certain items for secondary examination.
For example, there might be a $100 printer already available on the US market which was being shipped for the cost of $500 going to a country known for terrorist activity. This would draw the attention of the officials for further investigation.
As airlines prepare to now include the mandatory screening in their operations, officials are confident that the move will strengthen safety procedures and prevent any future attacks.
Written by Iris Arden (Ramon Inc.)