View Full Version : Unscreened Cargo

4th Nov 2010, 15:54
Well it is now open public knowledge that almost none of the cargo being carried in the holds of passenger aircraft is being screened. Named last night on ABC's Lateline programme as the largest offender in Australia is Australian Air Express. Fabulous that a Qantas owned company is part of the freight industry which protests at any mandatory requirments to have all cargo screened. So much for grubby security officers pawing through your private nav bag and clothes or swabbing pilots for explosives! It's all high farce! Down below the unscreened freight is loaded by unscreened ramp staff and every container or package could contain a dangerous surprise! Apparently our law makers couldn't bring themselves to require freight companies to provide genuine aviation security, as that would eat into profits. Security is just for mugs like aircrew and passengers. Just shows what money and political clout can achieve! Meanwhile you'll still be getting the 'once over' at security as you board your flight. Now we know how Al-Qaeda so easily slipped explosive devices onto flights last week. (No problem though; I'm sure they signed the dangerous goods declaration!) I suggest fighting back by every crew member demanding that no unscreened freight be carried. Let's get this mess sorted out. Watch the pollies running for cover over this one!! It is five years since the Wheeler Review made its recommendations about total freight and cargo screening for Australia.

Worrals in the wilds
4th Nov 2010, 23:02
Freight is difficult to bulk screen effectively. There is a world of dfference between screenng passenger bags and pallets or cans of engine parts or similar bulk metal items that are impermeable by x-ray.
That's not to say it shouldn't be done, but it won't be until the government makes it mandatory. Wheeler recommended screenng for freight carried by passenger aircraft, but even that would take a huge cost and time investment.

I wouldn't expect a private company to introduce screening of its own volition, particularly when the time lag would make it less competitive.