100 Percent Airline Cargo Screening; How it Affects You

July 9, 2010
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imageThere has been numerous press releases going out in the industry about the August 1st, 2010 Congressional Mandate which will require 100 percent screening of all cargo loaded on a passenger airline,including human remains. Some of the information in the press releases has not been fully accurate.

I had to opportunity to talk with Frank Kaiser, President of Eagles Wings Air, about the August 1st deadline and what it ment for funeral professionals. The following is a letter Frank put together to answer any question funeral professionals may have.

The upcoming Congressional Mandate which will require 100 percent screening of all cargo loaded on a passenger airline, including human remains, is fast approaching. The airlines are currently screening 75 percent of cargo, and are working hard to prepare for the August 1st deadline.

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As with the Known Shipper Mandate which was implemented in 2009, there is currently quite a bit of confusion within our community leading up to the change effective August 1st. The Eagle’s Wings Air team continues to field multiple calls on a daily basis from trade associations, funeral homes and shipping services across the country seeking clarification regarding the pending change. As the only transportation management company uniquely focused on serving the entire death care community, we are happy to offer our insight and expertise.

In the interest of preventing further confusion on this topic, I have listed some common questions and answers below.

Effective August 1st, can I ship human remains using a passenger airline?

YES – From a funeral service industry perspective, the current shipping requirements remain unchanged. The shipping firm is required to be a Known Shipper with the airline being used to transport the remains. More information regarding the Known Shipper Mandate from August 2009 is available on our web site within the News & Events section.

How will the 100 percent cargo screening mandate affect my firm on August 1st?

Potential bottlenecks at the airline warehouse might be experienced during tender in major gateway cities like – Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA) and New York (JFK). This will be driven by the higher volumes of cargo being handled at these airports.

Our airline contacts have told us that the funeral service professional will continue to receive priority treatment during tender, and will not be forced to wait in long lines (with other cargo companies). Please contact the EWA office if you are experiencing recurring service concerns, and I will be happy to assist in any way possible.

The airline industry has been preparing for the 100% screening mandate for well over a year, and currently screens 75 percent of cargo. Additional investment in technology and resources will continue to add screening capacity at the airline warehouse.

Security Screening Fees may be introduced by each carrier.

Many carriers recently increased their Human Remains pricing which we can assume has accounted for the pending increase in handling costs.

Other carriers have already introduced a Screening Fee as well. For example, United Airlines currently charges $0.03 per lb (minimum $5) for domestic shipment cargo screening. (Ex: 300lb human remains shipment = $9 screening fee).

What is the Certified Cargo Screening Program (CCSP) being promoted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)?

The CCSP was developed as a solution to help the transportation industry reach the 100 percent screening mandate as required by the 9/11 Commission Act. Under the CCSP, the TSA will “certify” cargo screening facilities located throughout the United States that will screen cargo prior to providing it to airlines for shipment on passenger flights thus helping high-volume shippers or forwarders avoid potential bottlenecks at airline warehouse docks. Some major manufacturers have also chosen to participate, and have incorporated the screening into the original packaging of their products. More information can be found at www.tsa.gov/ccsp.

Is my firm obligated to participate in the CCSP in order to ship Human Remains?

NO – Participation in this program is voluntary.

Should my firm consider participating in the CCSP?

Joining the CCSP is a business decision which should be weighed carefully by each organization. Some key considerations are:

– Human remains shipping volume

– Cost – including potential facility modifications.

– Focus – is cargo screening a core competency of your firm?,br>

– Regulation – the program requires strict compliance and TSA oversight.

– Service – is participation necessary in order to protect service to your client family?

The National Funeral Service Trade Associations, the Transportation Security Administration, and the airline industry have been in discussions since last year regarding current and future screening protocols for human remains. I am confident more information will be distributed as required.

EWA is deeply committed to serving as an air transportation resource for our nationwide client base of funeral homes and shipping services. Please e-mail any questions or concerns you have regarding the change to me at frank.kaiser@eagleswingsair.com.

Both myself and our staff look forward to serving you in the future. For additional information, please contact us at (866) 550-1392 or visit www.eagleswingsair.com.

Best Regards,

Frank Kaiser

CDFuneralNews

CDFuneralNews

ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com we have created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
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