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Postal Service Cargo Restricted On Passenger Aircraft

January 7th, 2003 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: Uncategorized

Having tightened security for passengers and their baggage, the federal government and the airlines turned their attention to items shipped by the US Postal Service via passenger airplanes. As a terrorist precaution, Congress and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) banned passenger airlines from carrying cargo items weighing more than 16 ounces. Most experts don‘t believe a bomb inside a smaller, lighter parcel would have enough explosive force to bring down a commercial jet. The volume of mail carried on U.S. airlines between January and September dropped 42 percent compared with the same period last year, with much of the decline attributed to the 16-ounce limit, which doesn’t apply to FedEx and other non-passenger carriers. The airlines now are working on a potential solution with the Postal Service and TSA that would enable screened mail over 16 ounces to be put back on passenger planes. The plan is expected to involve more widespread use of bomb-sniffing dogs. Also there could be more deployment of technology similar to that used to detect explosives in passenger baggage.

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