The Transportation Security Administration wants to complete a network of international agreements to screen all air cargo moving on passenger flights two years ahead of schedule.
TSA issued a notice on Jan. 10 to the air cargo industry soliciting comments on a proposed Dec. 31, 2011 deadline. A spokesman said the agency wants to know if the date is feasible, and a firm date will be set following review of public comments. The comment deadline is Feb. 24.
Congress ordered TSA in 2007 to secure 100 percent screening for international inbound air cargo at a date later than the Aug. 1, 2010 deadline for screening domestic cargo. To do so would require bilateral agreements with originating countries. TSA estimated completing the negotiations would take until 2013.
TSA officials said after the attempted bombings of two aircraft by Al Qaeda forces in Yemen in October 2010, European countries took greater interest in an international air cargo security network that could prevent another incident.