In just a few short weeks, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will roll out approved legislation permitting the air cargo industry to utilize third-party Explosive Detection Canines (EDC) as an approved screening option. This major industry development follows years of debate regarding feasibility and funding and finally answers a growing demand for qualified canine teams. As airfreight transportation continues to soar amid a heightened threat environment, EDC teams owned, operated and trained by the private sector and validated by the TSA will now screen cargo as part of the Certified Cargo Screening Program.
Despite the imminence of the program, many industry organizations may fall behind the curve on preparedness and, as a result, be unable to secure highly-skilled and properly-trained EDC teams to meet their needs. The demand for teams uniquely qualified for air cargo deployment will be significant and wide spread. Critical steps in several key areas must be made now to ensure that you are not left behind.
Any successful EDC program begins with a comprehensive facility and operational assessment to establish a baseline of understanding on vulnerabilities and required mitigation steps. This assessment will result in a more complete understanding of the program and capacity required to best address specific needs. Following are a few essential operational areas of focus that must be considered to achieve organizational preparedness.
- Review how to more effectively integrate 3PK9s into your organization’s current screening methods. This includes explosive trace detection and X-ray screening in supporting any 3PK9 Alarm Resolution Requirement.
- Review your facility footprint and determine how best to effectively deploy canines throughout to successfully address cargo volume, especially during peak periods.
- Prepare your physical facility for the presence of canines with climate-controlled rest and relief areas.
- Prepare your personnel to work with and around canine screening.
- Create a data collection system to track canine training, deployment and any additional requirements or alerts.
In our next blog, we focus on the many budgetary considerations that affect an organization’s readiness. MSA Security will continue to provide support and information on the TSA program, as we increase the Windsor fleet to best meet the growing need for cargo screening.