He pulled into the parking lot by sdfsb346f


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Winning Coalition
    Richard Altomare and
                                                     e pulled into the parking lot
                                                     of the airport. It was full. He
                                                                                         ‘This solution stands to
Harvey Abelson argue the                             drove up and down the aisles,
                                            finally a spot. It was the Sunday after
                                                                                            generate substantial
case for separating luggage                 Thanksgiving – the busiest day of the
                                                                                           benefits for the federal
                                            air travel year.
 and cargo from passenger                   Looking over his shoulder into the             government, airlines,
                                            back seat he saw the black ballistic
                    airlines                wheeled upright suitcase. It was just
                                            like everyone else’s. Getting out of
                                                                                              mass transit, the
                                            the car, he moved to the back door,
                                            opened it and removed the suitcase.
                                                                                         travelling public and the
                                            Not bothering to lock the rented car,           tax-paying citizens’
                                            he pulled out the handle avoiding the
                                            plastic switch in the handle recess. He     He did not react.
                                            wheeled it towards the bus kiosk.           The traffic to the terminal was
                                            Looking around he saw other                 backed up. Getting closer to his stop,
                                            travellers moving towards an already        he saw through the window a
                                            full waiting area. The buses were           number of good-bye vignettes: A
                                            backed up.                                  blur of hugs and kisses and tears. The
                                            Those buses in the front were full and      bus braked. He was off balance. He
                                            slowly moving without stopping.             was brought down to his knees. This
                                            Finally, a bus stopped. Those in front      time he was eye to eye with the now
                                            of him got on. They included a              giggling four-year-old. His reaction
                                            young family with two children. He          was to check his suitcase.
                                            was the last one able to squeeze onto       He got up, when the bus doors
                                            the bus.                                    opened. He got off, brushed the dust
                                            He wedged his way into the bus and          from his trousers and headed for the
                                            placed his suitcase upright between         entrance. Once inside, he surveyed
                                            his legs. He looked down and saw a          the signs and picked out the line of
                                            four-year-old girl smiling up at him.       the dominant airline at the airport.

 Richard Altomare is the Founder and
 Chairman of the Coalition for
 Luggage Security, and also CEO of
 Universal Express Inc., a provider of
 logistics and air courier services.
 He has served in the US Marine
 Corps, as an officer in the US Army,
 and is a Vietnam Memorial Wall
 Board Member.
 Harvey Abelson is the Coordinator for
 the Coalition.
 The Coalition for Luggage Security is
 a voluntary partnership that has invited
 business leaders in the transportation
 and logistics industries to discuss and
 debate innovative ideas for enhancing
 passenger and travel luggage security.

48                                                 www.cargosecurityinternational.com        October/November 2005 Cargo Security International
                                                                                                   AVIATION SECURITY

He wound his way through the
crowds towards the escalator. The
handle of the suitcase felt cool in his
Following the signs he continued
down a hall towards the crowd. He
saw the end of what he thought was
the security line winding through the
terminal like some Disney ride. He
was patient. He was waiting to finally
have as many persons in front of him
as behind. Watching people at the
security area taking off their shoes and
belts and being wanded accompanied
by the nearly constant buzz of the
security alarms occupied him.
He was nearly at the point. He
looked around. In an adjacent line he
again saw the little girl holding onto
her mother. With her other hand, she
was waving at him. His reaction was
to reach down onto his suitcase and
flip the switch. The airport was closed
for three weeks.
Is this story fiction? Yes. Is it
possible? Yes. Is it preventable?
Definitely, but only if our will to
change is there.
Another option open to the terrorist
is to plant a bomb in the cargo hold
of a passenger plane. This can happen
since only a portion of cargo in the
hold of passenger planes is scanned.
Alternatively, the bomb could simply                 travellers will fly with cargo, much of     While both these objectives are
explode in a suitcase in the line                    which has not been screened. Plus,          deserving, the issue of security is a by-
waiting for a ticket prior to screening.             waiting in line for baggage check-in        product and not the goal. But, the
Let us examine what security is being                and claim is costing the airline            experiment has some other admirable
done to prevent such atrocities and                  passengers and the economy huge             elements that begin to dovetail into the
some of the consequences since 9/11,                 amounts of money every year in lost         Coalition for Luggage Security’s
Madrid and London.                                   productivity. Airlines are financially      proposal. The ASTREC programme
                                                     strained. The liability risk and            calls for a ‘hands free travel’ element.
The United States Transportation
                                                     insurance costs can burden a large          ASTREC foresees couriers picking up
Security Administration (TSA)
will spend $1.45 billion on baggage                  logistics company, and put a small          luggage from the traveller’s home and
screening in 2005. It has created a                  company out of business.                    delivering for processing and tagging,
large and growing government                         The Japanese are trying an experiment,      but not isolating luggage or cargo from
bureaucracy. Today, many people                      known as the Advanced Airport               the traveller. This still puts the traveller
dread going to the airport. Long lines               Systems Technology Research                 at risk.
for baggage check-in await everyone                  Consortium (ASTREC ). The                   How do we solve this problem? By
and can come with an emotional and                   primary objective of the experiment is      enhancing air, train and bus security,
financial cost. Extensive searches of                to    promote       radio    frequency      and Homeland Security – and that
passengers’ baggage can leave people                 identification (RFID) technology and        means changing the way luggage is
feeling violated. Yet, these same                    provide convenience for the traveller.      handled.

Cargo Security International October/November 2005          www.cargosecurityinternational.com                                            49

Rather than having to take the
baggage through the check-in points,
                                               ‘Extensive searches of                      redirected to protect mass transit networks
                                                                                           ● speed up the movements of
passengers planning an upcoming trip
will use a new procedure for shipping
                                              passengers’ baggage can                      passengers and baggage handling in
their luggage in advance. Their
luggage will be shipped to reach their           leave people feeling                      ● create new jobs in the private sector,
                                                                                           particularly in the transport and travel
destination in time for their arrival. In
addition, the passengers will still have     violated. Yet, these same                     industries
an opportunity to take the baggage to                                                      ● generate billions of dollars for
the airports with them at a premium            travellers will fly with                    airlines for handling baggage that is still
price and in an isolated area.                                                             brought to the airports for premium
The proposed solution would operate          cargo, much of which has                      service
in the following manner:                                                                   ● generate efficiencies in the airline
● separate the baggage from its
                                                  not been screened’                       industry: use less fuel; faster turn
                                                                                           around time and less baggage handling
passengers and encourage travellers to
                                            for Luggage Security white paper (available    costs
ship their bags prior to the departure
date. This will provide for the bags to     at www.usxp.com/securitywp.pdf).               ● turn a challenge into a solution
be transported in a similar manner as       This proposal will achieve the following       envied by our world partners
the five billion parcels shipped yearly     objectives:                                    ● lower airfares.
by businesses and consumers                 ● increase security for the traveling public   The proposed decline in passenger
● allow the United States Postal            and encourage more travel                      baggage handled by airlines would
Service along with 4,000 parcel                                                            reduce the prospect of infiltration of
                                            ● increase security for mass transportation
carriers to handle baggage that is                                                         terrorist devices onboard planes, and
currently carried by the airline            ● deprive terrorists of the chance to cause    hence reduce the possibility of terrorist
industry and directed by a leader of        mass human carnage                             attacks.
the luggage movement industry.              ● reduce the cost of Homeland Security         This solution stands to generate
We encourage you to view the Coalition      and generate savings which could be            substantial benefits for the federal
                                                                                           government, airlines, mass transit, the
                                                                                           traveling public and the tax-paying
                                                                                           citizens of the United States.
                                                                                           We must be proactive. A solution is
                                                                                           proposed; let us test it now – not after a
                                                                                           plane goes down or a terminal is
                                                                                           tragically bombed.
                                                                                           The four-year-old child in our story
                                                                                           deserves a full life filled with safety and
                                                                                           laughter. Our present system tragically
                                                                                           makes our opening story far too easy to
                                                                                           be accomplished. Universal Express
                                                                                           and the Coalition have an answer to
                                                                                           the challenge. Let’s examine it while
                                                                                           our children and grand children still
                                                                                           want to wave.

                                                                                            Richard Altomare
                                                                                            Harvey Abelson
                                                                                            Coalition for Luggage Security
                                                                                            Tel: +1 212 239 2575
                                                                                            Email: habelson@uspx.com
                                                                                            Web: www.usxp.com

50                                                  www.cargosecurityinternational.com          October/November 2005 Cargo Security International

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